Brazil suspends Pro Bono regulations

June 25, 2013
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This week, the Brazilian BAR Association (OAB) suspended the guidelines that regulate Pro Bono legal work until the group is able to create and adopt a set of rules that governs the institute.

This move is an order from federal councilor Luiz Flavio Borges D'Urso on the grounds that there is currently no "national guideline." As it stands now, some districts have created rules for the practice of Pro Bono legal work but this lack of a uniformed ideal has caused a series of misunderstandings. Most of this comes from "confusion recently established along with the public opinion" and the idea that Pro Bono is a free service instead of the actual system that renders services in a private manner by a Brazilian lawyer "deemed as true charity."

"Considering that 'Pro Bono' needs a uniform regulation for the whole of Brazil, by constituting a true system and therefore being guided by well-defined rules in order to avoid the doubts and confusion already experienced," said the counselor.

The National president of the OAB, Marcos Vinicius Furtado Coelho, is forming a commission to formulate a body of rules that will need to be submitted and approved by the council. There is no timetable for the committee to reach a decision on this matter.

Because of this, any company or individual that has business in Brazil should be wise to partner with lawyers from Brazil to make sure they understand the current landscape and there is nothing unforeseen that could lead to trouble.

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