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2011 summer-brazil-leep-facebook-revision 3-optimized

  1. 1. UNITED STATES AND BRAZIL: AN ANALYSIS OF THE SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THEIR FEDERALIST SYSTEMGROUP AAline AbeCintia Ruiz NicolauGiorgia Sena MartinsLariane Carvalho PereiraLilian Gerolin ConwayThough some situations present us with a hybrid system lately, the they understand it should be applied. In cases on the federal level,law in the United States is primarily based on case law (or the action begins at federal trial courts. Cases can be appealedcommon law), which is built through decisions passed by the from there to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, of which there arecourts throughout time and precedent cases that bind future 13 throughout the country. Rulings of this court can again bedecisions. In parallel, there are statutes, treaties and regulations appealed to the Supreme Court. California is part of the 9 th Circuit.passed by the legislative and executive branch, which are alsoconsidered primary authority. Second sources of law are the The Supreme Court has the option of whether or not they wish toauthorities to explain the meaning or applicability of primary hear the case; one of the aspects that shall be evaluated beforeauthorities. the Supreme Court hears the case is the relevance of the matter in dispute. The ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court is final though thereThe Judicial System in the United States consists of two separate are exceptions arising out of at least one previous case.levels of courts, state and federal. The Supreme Court is thehighest court in the United States and holds jurisdiction over all Also, there is a fundamental difference between the Brazilian andstate and federal courts and original jurisdiction over a small range the American legal systems: while in Brazil only specific criminalof cases. The law that was allegedly violated, along with the matters are subjected to a jury, in the United States they exist for aparties in a dispute, shall determine whether it is a matter to be variety of subjects. As a result, it seems that the American systemtried before state or federal courts. Most of the laws applied to brings more fairness to legal decisions since a group of people willcitizens daily are state laws. be deciding the relevant matter instead of the mind of a single judge. Despite the fact that jurors do not hold technical knowledgeOne of the most important differences between the Brazilian and over legal issues, their decisions seem to be closer to what thethe American system is that, here in the United States, each state average citizen understands as justice.is free to arrange its own court system and legislate its ownspecific laws. Although the Brazilian Constitution allows or even In conclusion, whereas each state has the right to create and/orrequires that state law must regulate particular matters, the adapt its own laws, when you take a closer look at the Americanextension of such power and/or responsibility is largely limited by System it remains clear that the sense of definitiveness of afederal regulations. In other words, even if the states of the decision ensures its citizens of legal stability and predictabilityfederation present a considerable similarity in their legal systems, which are fundamental qualities of an effective legal system.they are free to create, implement and interpret its legislation, as
  2. 2. GROUP BIvana Roberta Couto Reis de Souza Luiz Fabricio Thaumaturgo VergueiroMarcia Sao Paulo Cleide Siqueira SantosClaudio Andre Raposo Machado Costa Ana Carolina DantasIsabela Cristina Pedrosa Bittencourt Daniel Almeida de OliveiraThe U.S. Legal System is an important subject for Civil Law On the other hand, these rules are set in motion by the so calledpractioners. This is especially true in regards to lawyers from Stare Decisis method, that enables parties to have priorcountries, such as Brazil, where the Constitution allows for judicial knowledge of general rules to the case, for reasons ofreview of acts of the legislative and executive branches, and which predictability, fairness, and consistency, through the followingalso have their governmental structure laid out in Constitution. basic principles .Often times, the eventual outcome in both systems will be the 1) a decision of a court is binding on all inferior courts within thesame, however, the paths will be different. Thus, studying the same system, 2) a decision by a three judge appellate panel isCommon Law system allows for Brazilians lawyers enhanced law binding on all courts from which that appellate court takes appealsthinking skills. unless reversed in “en banc” proceedings, 3) No State court is bound by a federal court‟s decision on a question of State Law, 4)One particular topic of interest, that affects overall understanding all State courts are bound by the U.S. Supreme Court‟s decisionsof the system, is the Supremacy of Federal Law 1, which allows for on federal law, 5) all Federal courts are bound by State courtsappellate concourse to a higher national court – the U. S. Supreme precedent on questions of State law. And yet, 6) no court is boundCourt – at least in most of the relevant cases, arising from by dicta5, even in decisions by higher courts in the system.constitutional issues. When reading cases in civil procedure, law students frequentlyAnother relevant feature in the U. S. law is the prevalence of encounter the terms dismissal, summary judgment, directedpractical issues, given the fundamental role of the judiciary branch verdict, and judgment notwithstanding the verdict, the terms arein creating and interpreting law 2. The realization that law is what names of four important motions available to one or both parties,the judges say it is the main issue for the American realism school, as cases make its way through the courts system.rooted in the philosophical legal pragmatism evolved in the UnitedStates3. In conclusion, our class had the opportunity to improve the knowledge of civil procedure within the U.S. Common Law system,Interestingly, the subject of horizontal federalism underlines the including the trial by jury cases.powers of the States, as granted by the 10th Amendment, inlegislative terms, to regulate all matters not reserved to U.S. Such knowledge allows for enriching not only our professionalCongress, nor prohibited to them. This legislative power is met by skills, but, also, ensured a realization of the main concepts ofcorrespondent subject matter adjudication by State courts in most American legal thinking.issues, regardless of federal courts4.1 See Casenote Legal Briefs, Constitutional Law, New York: Aspen Law,2002 apud GODOY, Arnaldo Sampaio de Moraes. Notas Sobre o DireitoConstitucional Norte-Americano available at<www.arnaldogodoy.adv.br/publica/notas_sobre_o_direito_constitucional>.2 See MILLER, Charles A. The Supreme Court and the Uses of History.Cambrige: Harvard University Press, 1969.3 It was upheld by those scholars that knowledge could not be dissociatedfrom real legal practice, and that all theoretical conception is marked bysome useful goal.4 Thus, it can be said that federal courts have limited jurisdiction. Underarticle III, Section 2, of U.S. Constitution, their jurisdiction includes, and vocabulary development. Michigan: University of Michigan Press,among other things, all cases “arising under this constitution, the Laws of 2007.the United States, and Treaties,” controversies in which the United Statesis a party and “Controversies between two or more States”, or “Citizens of 5Dicta refers to all aspects of a court’s decision not directly connected todifferent States”. REINHART, Susan M. Strategies for Legal Case reading the case in file.
  3. 3. GROUP CClysses Adelina HomarMaria Clarice Maia MendonçaPedro Melo Pouchain RibeiroMarcia Luciana DantasNatalia Camba MartinsPatrick Sexias LupinacciThe United States of America (USA) has a Constitution that is two- Among other changes, the courts are recognizing "implied powers"hundred years older than the Brazilian one, and was ratified in of the federal legislative authority; the judicial review was1789. The American Constitution has been amended only 27 expanded to acts of state governments; the "Civil Wartimes. In Brazil, the 1988 Constitution is the countrys 8 th Amendments" (13th through 15th) brought procedural guarantees. Itconstitutional text, and has, so far, received 67 amendments plus 5 is said that the horizontal federalism (relation between states) isrevision amendments. While the American Constitution has seven also changing, with the expansion of reach of the power of thearticles, the Brazilian constitutional text has 250 articles - its said to courts and the "full faith and credit" that has been granted tobe an "analytical text", covering a large amount of subjects. Under judicial decision from other states and courts.the civil law system, adopted by Brazil, all legal provisions must beenacted in written documents in order to be binding. It was a The USA adopted a presidential system, where the president issurprise to learn that, although the USA adopts a common law vested with executive power, and he has to faithfully execute thesystem, it also deals with enacted law, with the creation of law. The presidents main powers are: the power to negotiatemechanisms to solve conflicts between them. treaties, the veto power in relation to legislation approved by the Congress and the selection of federal judges - whose approval is thOn July 4 , 1776, the colonies belonging to Great Britain subjected to Senate. In Brazil the main powers of the presidentproclaimed independence, organizing a confederation of states. are the veto power, the power to celebrate treaties and, in someThe Brazilian independence took a different path: after declaring cases, to initiate the legislative process.its independence from Portugal, the Brazilian territory was divided,creating states. The main consequence of this difference between The USAs national legislature has the power to establish Courts,Brazil and the USA is that, while in Brazil the federal power and the Congress may, from time to time, ordain and establishconcentrates the most important functions, in the USA the states inferior Courts. The Federal Courts have Jurisdiction in two kindsseems to have broader powers than the national (federal) of cases: a) diversity: controversies between two or more statesgovernment. and disputes between citizens of different states; b) federal question: controversies arising under the Constitution and laws ofThe U.S. Constitution - as for the Brazilian one - divided power the USA. The USA Supreme Court has original and appellatebetween federal and state government and created a system of jurisdiction. Over the years the federal court system has beenchecks and balances, dividing the national power in three expanded and it consists, now, of 3 levels: a) trial (district) courts;branches: Executive, Legislative and Judiciary. The Legislative b) appellate (circuit) courts; c) Supreme Court. There are alsoPower follows a bicameral legislature: Senate and House of specialized courts. All states have their own Judiciary system, butRepresentatives. Bills must be approved by both houses in order it is very common that they mimic the federal one.to became law. As in the USA the states have important powersand a great amount of autonomy, it is said that one of the most As a conclusion, it can be said that, although Brazil and the USAimportant powers of the USA Congress is the regulation of are Federative Republics, with a presidential system, the adoptioninterstate commerce. All the powers not enumerated on the USA of the civil law juridical system by Brazil, as a contrast to theFederal Constitution are reserved to states. In the USA, the adoption of a common law system, by the former, shows theresolution of conflicts between federal legislation and state law differences on the legal concepts and ways of dealing with legalshall be solved by the supremacy of federal law. But changes are matters in each country - what makes the comparative study ofhappening in the vertical federalism (relation between the national both system a challenge to the academics and practitioners.power and the states), with an visible growth of federal power.
  4. 4. GROUP DVictor Guedes TrigueiroThiago Carvalho Barreto LeiteFausto Bruno MenezesGuilherme Augusto Barbosa AzevedoWenderson Gagliano de AlvarengaRafael MachadoAlthough the U.S. legal system is based on common law, there are made by the federal legislative house. For this reason, usually weseveral similar points with the Brazilian system, which is based on have the same solutions for the same cases, even if you are incivil Law. In one side, you have a system that is based on the different states of the federation. And in Brazil we also have aprecedents that are made by the judges in real cases, but, having court that has jurisdiction to solve cases that are decided inmany statutes that governs a bunch of situations. On the other different ways. That is a good solution to avoid conflicts of opinionshand, you have the Brazilian system, which when time passes by, by the judges.becomes more and more based on the precedents that are beingdecided in the superior courts. I think that we are all walking to a In the end, it‟s very interesting how the experts here in U.S.mixed system, where many laws are made by the legislative compile the precedents. That‟s what you call restatements, whichbranch, but the decisions of the courts become more important, are opinions made by professors, judges, attorneys of what theyjust to give the population some kind of certain that their conduct think prevails in the cases of all country. In Brazil we also haveare legal. something like that. You call them “sumulas”, but there are some differences. They are made only by the courts, and in same cases,The U.S. judicial system, as in Brazil, has the state courts and the the singular judges have to follow this statements. That‟s what wefederal courts. The difference between both systems is raised in call “súmula vinculante”. Here in the U.S., the restatements arethe federation model. In the U.S. system, sometimes you cannot just persuasive authorities, that does not have to be followed bysay for sure if you are in front of a case that has to be heard in the judges.state courts or federal courts. Sometimes you also don‟t knowwhich state has jurisdiction to hear the cases. Back in Brazil, the As far as I can see, Brazilian‟s system and U.S. system are raisedrules of jurisdiction between state courts and federal courts are in two very different systems, civil Law and common Law. But, as Ivery specific, and, often, you don‟t have problems to figure out said before, both systems are getting very similar, just becausewhich system has jurisdiction to hear those cases. they are getting from each other your best features. From common Law, we took the fairness of a system that allows people to knowAlso, the precedent system is very different, because states have what they can do and what they couldn‟t do, based on precedents.its own laws and your own cases, and you can have different On the other hand, the common Law took from the civil Law thesolutions for the same case, if you are in California or if you are in experience that rules the situations with laws is a good way to letNevada, for instance. This situation happens because the federal people aware about how they have to behave in front of somemodel in the U.S. provides much more power to the states. In situationsBrazil, the most important laws that applies to people‟s life are.
  5. 5. GROUP EAna Flávia BragaBárbara GimenezFabrício NogueiraGustavo CamposJulia CadeteMariana MontenegroThis paper aims to discuss some topics related to the United to sway the judge in a first impression case as persuasiveStates legal system. The focus will be some aspects of Common authority.law, as origins, stare decisis and political limitations. Today, it is recognized that judges have a lawmaking role, butThe origins of Common law are found in England (King‟s Court) there are some political limitations: their decisions can be changedwhere judges used to travel the country to decide the cases in by statutory “correction” i.e. the legislator has the power to pass adifferent locations. To avoid inconsistency and simplify later cases, law that supersedes the rule created by the courts. One of thethey developed the principle of stare decisis that binds future greatest challenges of the Common law system is the problem ofdecisions in similar cases according to precedents. The concept retroactivity. Because the judicial decisions are sources of law,that the decision stands satisfies the desire for consistency, sometimes there is no prior access to a rule of law before itsfairness and predictability. application.In the United States, a decision of a court binds all inferior courts Despite the referred problems, Common law system provideswithin the same system – federal or state. Thus, all state and consistency, fairness and predictability through stare decisis.federal courts are bound by the U.S. Supreme Court‟s decisions These virtues inspire some Civil law countries, as Brazil, to adopton questions of federal law, but no state court is bound by a the binding authority of the precedents as a way to simplify laterfederal court‟s decision on a question of state law. Although the cases and guarantee legal certainty.decisions of another system are not mandatory, they may be used
  6. 6. GROUP FAna Cristina Velloso CruzCid Arruda AragaoMichelle Marry Marques da SilvaMiquerlam Chaves CavalcanteReginaldo SaVladia Pompeu da SilvaThe Brazilian Federalist System, form of state formally defined in there are so many powers already given to the central government1889, was based in the North-American model of federalism. The and since it is possible to give a very broad interpretation in favormost distinguishing differences found today between these two of the federal government, this makes the powers of the individualsystems are due to the way these models were created. While the states very limited.North-American federalist system was generated by the union ofindependent states, that decided to create a central power in order The state governments in the U.S., when compared to the stateto get more protection against a common enemy – the United governments in Brazil, have great powers. They can establish,Kingdom – the Brazilian federalist system, on the contrary, was almost entirely, all the rules over contracts, torts, family law,born with the intent to mitigate the power of the central commercial law, regulation of professions, business entities andgovernment, since this was at the end of a long lasting period of a most ordinary crimes. In Brazil, most of the subject matters arevery centralized monarchy. The Brazilian provinces reclaimed bound to the federal government or are concurrent of all themore power from the central government, dissatisfied with the federation members (Union, states and municipality).authoritarian way of government that had being taken place Here‟s a great example of the difference in power distributionbefore. between both countries: while in Brazil all the procedural rules ofEven though the two countries model of federalism share a great election – even the ones to elect the governors – are defined bynumber of similarities, the difference in their origin explains a lot of the Constitution and by federal law. In the U.S., these rules arethe strong differences that can be noticed between both of them. mainly established by the states themselves.Though the North-American model has been suffering a lot of Though the history will always play a part in the shape of thechange since its creation, especially with the growth of the central federalist model of each country, it seems both of them can learngovernment‟s power, its states still detain much more power than from each other‟s system of law. In what concerns Brazil, theretheir Brazilian counterpart. must be an effort to give more power to the states, which is theEven with the statement of Brazilian federalism, the fact is that the only way to better rule a continental size country as Brazil. Thestate institutions were too weak and could not get the enough study of the United States system of law and the experience of thisstrength to contest the central government overpower. The country is an unpaired starting point for this purpose.proclamation of the Brazilian republic allowed some strengtheningof the powers by the states of the federation, which has beinggrowing over the years. Nowadays the overpower of the federalgovernment is still very noticeable.The Constitution of the United States of America is a very shortdocument. It only states the basic individual rights and governmentrules, but leaves to the states all the remaining power. TheConstitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil of 1988,otherwise, states an enormous amount of power for the federalgovernment. It also establishes – as the U.S. Constitution – thatthe remaining powers belong to the states. However, because
  7. 7. GROUP GCesar CardosoPatricia Freitas Vasconcellos DuarteEugenia França de Oliveira Nemezio SchontagPaulo Cesar da SilvaRosana Gavina Barros HorosteckiMalin FagerlundThe United States, as known today, originated from 13 colonies. law such as codes, case law, constitution and treaties. TheThe first legal system was the Articles of Confederation but it failed secondary authority is persuasive and consists of materials thatbecause there was no real central government. As there was no explain and analyze the law such as textbooks and restatements,national government, the states were forced in 1789 to create a for example.Constitution in order to assure national and states‟ interests. Precedent plays a major role in American law. In order to enforceThe Constitution of 1789 creates three branches of government: (i) the principles of predictability, fairness and consistency, stareLegislative (article I) with a bicameral legislature formed by the decisis became a crucial point in understanding how the CommonHouse or Representatives and the Senate; (ii) Executive (article II) Law system works by determining that precedents have to bewhich is represented by the President who is charged to faithfully followed, binding, thus the courts to their own previous decisions.execute the laws and who has the power to negotiate treaties and Even though higher courts do not have to follow the precedent ofto select all of the Federal Judges and he also has the veto power lower courts, nor do courts in the same level have to follow eachover legislation ; and the (iii) Judicial (article 3) formed by the other‟s precedents outside of the same jurisdiction, all of theSupreme Court, the Federal courts and the State Courts. decisions enacted by any of those courts constitute persuasive authority in any court of the United States demonstrating onceA system of checks and balances was established in order not to more the power that the precedent has in American law.give too much power to any of the branches of government.Through this system, for example, the veto power of the President Even though the United States are still a country that follows theover the Legislative Branch is subject to approval of both Houses Common Law, it has been increasingly becoming driven to Civilin some instances. Law concepts. Nothing supersedes the power of the United States Federal Constitution and statutes, codes and other kinds ofThe sources of law in the United States are enacted law regulations have been increasingly enacted which makes judges(constitution, statutes, treaties and court rules) and Caselaw rely increasingly more in codified law rather than precedent.(caselaw interpreting enacted law) and Common Law. CommonLaw is made by Judges guided by perception of public policy. The Different from Brazil, whose system looks like more uniformLegislature can codify or abrogate the Common Law. because of the control exercised by the federal executive, legislative and judicial branches, in the United States the mainAlso, the concept of what constitutes primary and secondary power is reserved to the state executive, legislative and judicialauthority has great importance to the American system. Primary branches, resulting in a diversity of statutory laws and common lawauthority is binding and could be defined as a primary source of rules throughout the country
  8. 8. GROUP HAmadeu Braga BatistaAna Carolina Miguel GouveiaLéa Émile Maciel Jorge de SouzaRafael MichelsonRenata Cordeiro Uchôa ForêncioAmadeu Braga BatistaThe class Introduction to the U.S. legal system is essential for the based on the following: once similar disputes were solved in aninitiation of the legal studies of any foreign students about area, the rule applied to them became law to other similar cases inAmerican law. In addition to providing an overview about the main the same region) which can be defined as the legal system inexisting institutions, as well as the fundamental concepts, it is which the rules and decisions are based on precedent, without,important to provide an environment for understanding the spirit however, disregard the relevant peculiarities of each case. Thethat inspires this system. principles of common law are not established in statute, but rather emanate from decisions of courts of various states. Common law,The Legal System of U.S. is established over three pillars: the U.S. also referred to as judge-made law or case law, arise out ofConstitution, the Federalism and the harmony among the branches specific legal situations. General legal principles derived fromwith the checks and balances. The Constitution itself is the result these individual decisions are then applied to other similar orof the bound of the thirteen dissident colonies, which fought for analogous case.independence on British rule. The consolidation of the Constitutioncame in 1789, almost eight years after the “Declaration of The perpetuation of the system of common law is due to anIndependence”, on July 4, 1776. Over two centuries after the important concept: stare decisis. According to this fundamentalConstitution was ratified, it was amended only 27 times – which idea, the court for the sake of predictability, fairness, andshows the strength of the principles and rules established in the consistency, must apply the well-settled precedent or long-settledConstitution and the acceptance of the American people on its principles established in previous case to future similar ordeterminations. analogous cases. Important to note that the court is bound by its own decisions, however, there is no binding to previous casesThe Federalism in U.S. is very strong since states were not decided by courts in other jurisdictions. It should be noted that, increated by the Constitution. They existed before it. The the state, the absolute supremacy of the decision belongs to theConstitution was a result of the consent of the 13 separate British state Supreme Courts, as on federal supremacy belongs to thecolonies. However, the main rules of Federalism are established U.S. Supreme Court. Note that, regardless of whether theon the Constitution, especially in its 10th Amendment – “The requirement for binding with previous decisions, both the federalPowers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor and state levels, there may be overrule decisions if there areprohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States enough compelling reasons to do so. May be cited as an example,respectively, or to the people”. The evolution on the American the possibility of the Court overrule a decision antecedent whoseFederalism implicates in some changes both horizontally or defense has no more sense in the new social context or, if thevertically. In the vertical Federalism, it is possible to observe the consequences of that decision have been negative.growth of Federal Power and its effects, specially the concurrentpower to make laws and adjudicate disputes and questions of In this class, was examined in a little more succinct otherpossible federal preemption. fundamental concepts as important as those mentioned above to understand the American legal system, such as Hierarchy ofThe harmony among the branches – Legislative, Executive and Federal Courts, Jurisdiction, Restatements and Civil Procedure.Judicial – is maintained by the checks and balances principle,which means the power that each branch has on the other in order Thus, the entire contents learned had a primordial importance for ato keep consistency to the system. The Constitution enumerates better understanding of American legal thought and developmentthe powers of each branch and the control each of them has on of a legal reasoning fit into this system, as well as to support thethe other. future study and further, especially with regard to institutes and converging concepts with Brazilian law, in view of the growingThe American Legal System is based also on common law closeness between systems based on common law and civil law.(derived from the British Common Law, which was in the beginning
  9. 9. GROUP IAna Carolina de Souza CorreaAna Luiza Mendonca SoaresFranciana Barbosa de AraujoGustavos Fontana PedrolloNadja Lima MenezesNaiara RezendeAlthough Brazil and the United States of America (USA) do share complexity of more than one legal system in one only country.a federalist system, it is essential to point out a distinction on eachof their roots: whilst in Brazil federalism was born from an unitary These are the typically modern characteristics of the USA republic,system of government, in the USA federalism was born as an which do not have always peacefully lived together to anotheroutcome of a previews confederation, in which the highest characteristic: a specific and pre-modern juridical culture, theidentification among their members was the resistance to British Common Law. Common Law, according to Roscoe Pound, isauthority at the local level. In other words, whereas in Brazil states essentially a way of legal thinking, a way of solving juridicalwere created by the constitution, in the USA they existed before it. problems through the application of precedents to new cases byThe creation of the United States of America is over all a legal reasoning.consequence of the intention to conciliate democracy and local The coexistence of federalism, separation of branches, supremacypower, with the necessity to raise up a country big and strong of the constitution and respect to the legislative branch as anenough to assure its ideas of independence, freedom and instance of representation of society, with the pre-modern juridicaleconomic growth. cultural heritage of Common Law, have demanded from the juristsIn the U.S. political system, republic and democracy are evidenced and the American society intelligence, prudence and creativity.by the presidential system and the emergence of the legislative Such characteristics have served, if not for having always the bestbranch. Federalism, guaranteed by the supremacy of the decision, at least as a rich experience to the whole world.constitution, generates a system of three separated branches, tocontrol and limit the exercise of the central power. Federalismenabled local and central power to coexist, generating the
  10. 10. GROUP JCarlos LopesCristiane Cantarelli PoueyFlavia IzidoroPaulo Ronaldo CeoRenata Beckert IsferUnited States of America uses common law to solve legal issues. usually is granted in issues about the law, without contradictoryAt common law, previous decisions made by courts create the facts. Directed verdict can be filed if the plaintiff or the defendantrules that must be followed by the people. Some subjects are ruled thinks that the other did not have enough evidence to support itsby statutes, but even in these cases, precedents are important to claim. After the jury gives the verdict, the losing party can file asolve questions regarding some aspects that may not be clear or Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict if the evidence is not legallyfully disclosed by the statute. sufficient or contrary to the law and no reasonable person could decide in favor of the non-moving party.Originally, common law was imposed by William, the Conqueror, in1066. Before common law, judges used to give different decisions United States uses the system of checks and balances. Art. I ofto the same matters, which was not fair and created problems in the Constitution gives all legislative powers to the Congress. It alsothe kingdom. Common law was the solution found to give equal enumerates powers of national government, as of to issue money,solutions all over England. establish postal system, create courts, raise army and navy, declare war, collect taxes, and spend money for the generalWhen England ruled over the colonies in North America, they used welfare and regulation of interstate commerce. All the powers notthe same system to solve legal issues. Most colonies adopted enumerated are reserved to the states.common law after the independence of the United States ofAmerica. President is vested with executive Power and is charged to faithfully execute the laws. It was also granted to the President theState and Federal constitution provide for the establishment of the power to negotiate treaties, power to select all federal judges (bothcourt system and give courts judicial power. In most states and in subject to Senate approval), veto power over legislation, which isthe federal system, courts are organized in a hierarchy of trial subject to override by 2/3 majority in both houses.courts, appellate courts and a supreme court.Stare decisis is the policy of courts to stand by precedent and notto disturb a settled point. In another words, courts are bound by itsprevious own decisions. In the same jurisdiction, decisions madeby hierarchically superior courts are binding to the lowers courts.State courts are never bound by decisions made by federal courtson state law. Decisions made by courts in other jurisdictions, obiterdicta and restatements are not biding, but may be used aspersuasive authority. Prior decisions may be overruled if courtsfind compelling reasons to do it, such as negative consequencesoriginated from the prior decision.There are four key motions in civil litigation process. Motion todismiss, also called demurrer, may be filled when defendant thinksthe plaintiff does not have enough information to show that there isa legal basis for a suit. Motion for summary judgment may be filledeither by the plaintiff or the defendant, after the discovery. It
  11. 11. TESTIMONIALS“Thomas Jefferson School of Law is a brilliant school with great Professors and helpful staff. It has been a wonderfulexperience. I hope to come back here.”Aline Abe“The „Fundamentals of U.S. Law‟ course at Thomas Jefferson School of Law summarized American Law, in a technicallanguage, yet also in an accessible way. It was possible for each one of us, through the learning of the U.S. Legal Systemand its principles, to learn the respective area of interest for an assortment of professionals.”Amadeu Braga Batista Silva“Thomas Jefferson School of Law, in partnership with the School of the AGU, undertook pioneering a program tointroduce the American Legal System to Federal Attorneys in Brazil, with important exchange of information on thefundamentals of American Law and legal practice encountered everyday in the U.S., in particular, the State of California.The mutual exchange of knowledge and experiences between students and professors was extremely enriching andexceeded my expectations. In fact, all of us who participated in the program, were enlightened to the debate about theeffectiveness of the U.S. federal model, and especially on the objectivity and pragmatism with which issues are addressedin U.S. Courts.”Ana Gouveia“Substantial! This is how I can analyze the „Fundamentals of U.S. Law‟ provided by the Thomas Jefferson School of Lawin San Diego last July. Highly trained teachers, equipped with a deep understanding of the issues raised who were alwayswilling to answer the questions of students. An efficient, yet substantial course, equipped the listener with enoughknowledge to understand how the common law in the United States of America works!”Ana Carolina de Sá Dantas"I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend the course „Fundamentals of U.S. Law‟ at TJSL. I was pleased to learnmore about the law in the United States with excellent professors. It was a very interesting way to improve my knowledgeand it will have practical application in my work. I hope I can go deeper in that knowledge. Thank you TJSL and EAGU."Carlos Côrtes Vieira Lopes"TJSL is a great place to start your journey into the American legal system. Outstanding facilities, amazing professors anda very dedicated staff made my stay here in San Diego a fantastic experience."Cintia Ruiz Nicolau“Having studied at Thomas Jefferson School of Law was a great experience, so I recommend it to anyone who wants toimprove their knowledge about the U.S. legal systems.”Claudio André Raposo Machado Costa"The course was an enriching experience in my life, bringing me a broader vision of the American legal system. Thequality of professors and modern school facilities made a great difference in the development of the program."Lariane Carvalho Pereira
  12. 12. "In my opinion, the experience at Thomas Jefferson School of Law was fantastic! I had a great time as I was able toimprove my knowledge about the American law and the American culture. The campuss structure is amazing and thequality of the teachers is very high! Im very proud to be part of this program and recommended it to all Brazilianattorneys!"Léa Emile M. Jorge de Souza"This years Legal Education Exchange Program (LEEP) was one of the best academic experiences in my whole life.Apart from the flawless classrooms and library, the faculty itself was the greatest and brightest feature of the course. Onemonth to remember for a lifetime."Luiz Fabricio Thaumaturgo Vergueiro"This summer course was important for improving my knowledge of the U.S. law by bringing a complete overview of thefunctions of legislative, executive and judiciary branches of the United States of America..Michelle Marry Marques da Silva“The course at Thomas Jefferson School of School Law has improved in my career. The knowledge and skills learned inthis amazing month will be widely put into use in my work. Besides, the cultural exchange has enriched many aspects ofmy private life. In a nutshell, this experience was worth a lot!”Miquerlam Cavalcante“It is impressive how a very short term course could enable us to understand and be capable of interacting with theAmerican legal system. Not only was the content strategically picked, but we also could actually catch very good samplesof the way Americans think about society and law.”Rafael Michelsohn“In my opinion, the content delivered in the course „Fundamentals of U.S. Law‟ was extremely important to understand themain principles and institutions in the U.S. legal system. This initial contact enriched our legal reasoning and our criticalthinking, beyond what will be essential for our future studies. Our participation was undoubtedly a rich experience!”Renata C. Uchoa Florêncio