Ricardo Tosto and the Brazilian Legal System

According to a new study, the average court case in Brazil takes approximate four years and four months from start to finish, according to a report issued by the Brazilian National Justice Council. The study mapped out how long it took for a case to go through the system and for a judgement or sentence to be handed down. According to the study, the state of Pernambuco, a medium-sized jurisdiction in terms of case load, is the slowest venue in the country, with cases sometimes taking seven years to be heard.

According to Judge Alexandre Freire Pimentel, a professor at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, a huge part of the problem is a lack of judges to try cases. He points out that there are over 200 vacancies on the bench that have not been filled, and as a result, there are judges who have dockets filled with as many as 450 thousand cases.

The largest judicial circuits, among them the state courts of Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Sao Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, generally have much lower wait times. From beginning to end, cases take less than two years to move through the system on average in these larger districts. One major factor contributing to the disparity is technology as districts that have gone paperless tend to process cases much more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Ricardo Tosto is a prominent Brazilian attorney and jurist, and the managing partner of the law firm of Leite, Tosto and Barros in Sao Paulo. A graduate of FAAP Law School, his law office is listed in the AAA 500, Brazil’s main guide to legal services. In addition to his legal career, he is also a published author and historian, having written a book entitled “The Trial of Tiradentes,” which presents the famous sedition trial in a modern context.

Tosto’s firm specializes in a number of practice areas, including regulatory law, administrative law, environmental law, employment and labor law, international law, and tax law, as well as general civil and criminal business law. The Sao Paulo firm also has offices in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro.

 

It is more than Just Politics – Dick and Betsy DeVos on Their Philanthropic Extent

Betsy DeVos nomination and subsequent appointment as the Secretary of Education recently sparked off debate about her and her husband’s philanthropy. The couple, as well as its extended family, is known to give generous donations to political causes that are mostly right-leaning. However, their recent revelations about their philanthropy showed that it is about more than just politics.

 

Charitable Contributions

Dick and Betsy DeVos reckon that they have donated a combined sum of about $139 million to charity over their lifetime. Their charity contributions have been to diverse causes including education, religion, health, and art.

 

Most of the couple’s donations are directed towards education causes and organizations. For instance, education causes received 26% of their 2015 charitable donations, adding up to about $3 million. They also contributed about $357,000 to organizations advocating for education reforms. The two are concerned that the education system is incapable of fulfilling the American dream. They direct their donations not only at children but also talented and diligent teachers who can help improve the current system.

 

The couple donated about $11.6 million to charity in 2015 alone. Compared to their campaign donations, 2015’s charity contribution are about twice of the couple’s political donations spanning five years back.

 

A Smoke Screen?

The report by Forbes on Dick and Betsy DeVos came at a convenient time for the couple and specifically Betsy DeVos who was then nominated to the education secretary position. The couple hails from a family with a long history of involvement in Republican politics. Dick DeVos’ dad, Richard DeVos, in particular, is an active participant in the party and U.S. politics in general. Betsy DeVos’ father and extended family is also reputable for its generous political and charitable donations.

 

Additionally, many critics argue that their generosity towards education organizations pushing for reforms is geared towards their business interests. Dick and Betsy DeVos are supporters of voucher and charter schools which rely on government funding to operate. Critics fear that the schools are channels of siphoning tax dollars and accuse the DeVos of having a financial interest in the increasingly popular education system.

 

The couple, however, has denied any claims to deflecting attention from its political donations by pointing out the numbers. To date, for instance, the DeVos extended family’s charitable donations add up to about $1.33 billion.

 

About Dick DeVos

Dick DeVos is the eldest son of Richard DeVos, Sr. He is also the husband to Elizabeth (Betsy) Prince and a father to four children. Over the years, Dick DeVos has worked for his family’s businesses in many capacities including as the president of Amway Corporation and the manager of the Orlando Magic Basketball franchise for the National Basket Association. He is also an active politician and identifies as a republican; in fact, he ran for governor of the State of Michigan in 2006.