UO Law Professor Elizabeth Tippett takes Dispute Resolution to Brazil

Elizabeth Tippett at the University of São Paulo Library with Homero Matheus.

São Paulo, with a population of 11.9 million, is Brazil’s largest city. In a global city with strong influence in arts, entertainment, finance, commerce and law, Oregon Law’s Associate Professor Elizabeth Tippett met with dignitaries, academics and lawyers from the São Paulo’s robust legal community.

Tippett has extensive expertise in U.S. employment law, employment practices, and the #MeToo movement. Also, Tippett is the faculty co-director of Oregon Law’s Conflict and Dispute Resolution Master’s Program and teaches in the top-ranked Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.

Because of her ADR background, Professor Antonio Rodrigues de Freitas Jr. of the University of São Paulo School of Law invited Tippett to give several presentations in the city.

Rodrigues de Freitas Jr. notes that in 2010, the National Council of Justice launched a public policy towards the improvement of alternatives to litigation and since then ADR has become increasingly important in Brazil.

“Among other reasons for ADR’s popularity is the number of litigation cases in the Brazilian courts -- in 2018 there were 81 million,” said Rodrigues de Freitas Jr.

Tippett’s first lecture and panel discussion was before the Federal Court of Appeal in São Paulo in partnership with the National Council of Justice. Chief Justice Dias Toffoli, head of the Supreme Court, opened the session.

Tippett spoke on the topic of “ADR and its integration in the Court System.” She discussed how different alternative dispute resolution systems have been institutionalized into the American court systems.

Elizabeth Tippett speaking via a video conference to a panel of judges and law practioners
[Left to right] Judge Ricardo Pereira, Chair of the Sao Paulo State Court Mediation Service; Célia Zapparolli, Mediator and Law practitioner; Professor Antonio Rodrigues de Freitas Jr., University of Sao Paulo School of Law; Maria Cecília Asperti; ADR researcher; Judge Bruno Takahashi, Federal Court in Sao Paulo.

In addition, Tippett gave the lecture "Frontiers and Challenges for Non-Judicial Conflict Resolution" at the University of São Paulo, Brazil’s largest university. She provided an overview of the different ways in which mediation is incorporated into court procedures or selected by parties at various stages and how parties contract out of the judicial system through arbitration. She also explained the costs and benefits of the institutionalization of ADR, and how it tends to replicate the systemic weaknesses of the American justice system.

View Tippett’s lecture

Elizabeth Tippett, Alberto do Amara Jr.,  and Alberto do Amara Jr. speaking on a panel
[Left to right] Elizabeth Tippett, University of Oregon School of Law; Associate Professor Alberto do Amara Jr. of the University of São Paulo School of Law;Professor Alberto do Amara Jr., Associate Professor of the University of São Paulo  Department of Labor Law and Social Security.

During her trip, Tippett was also able to visit both the Labor Court and Federal Court of Appeal in order to observe their mediations and talk with the judges about their practices.

“It was fascinating to see how Brazilian courts have adapted alternative dispute resolution systems in ways that fit within their particular legal culture,” said Tippet.

Concluding her trip, Tippett sat for an interview with the Comissão de Direito do Trabalho - OAB SP or the São Paulo Section of the Brazilian Bar Association to discuss employment law in the U.S. The São Paulo Section is the largest in the Brazil with over 350,000 member lawyers.

The interview was conducted by Professor Rodrigues de Freitas Jr, with translation by Dr. Adriana Calvo, Commission Individual Law Coordinator. Listen to Tippett’s interview at ESA OAB-SP Studios, broken into the four part series, “Labor Law in the United States.”

Jorge Pinheiro Castelo, Jorge Cavalcanti Boucinhas Filho, Elizabeth Tippett, Adriana Calvo, and Antonio Rodrigues de Freitas Jr. Pimenta,
[Left to right] Jorge Pinheiro Castelo, Chair of the Special Commission for Labor; Jorge Cavalcanti Boucinhas Filho, Chair of the School for Advanced Studies of the Sao Paulo State Bar Association; Adriana Calvo Pimenta. Adriana Chair of the Sub-commission for Individual Labor and Employment Issues; Antonio Rodrigues de Freitas Jr, Chair of the Sub-commission for International Labor and Employment Law.

Tippett says that the entire experience was an honor and she is excited for there to be more exchanges between the University of Oregon and University of São Paulo in the future.

“There are so many parallels between the United States and Brazil, and the challenges both countries face,” said Tippett. “Moving forward, I hope that more of our faculty and students can have similar opportunities like this one – there is so much we can learn from each other.”