In Latin America the civil and criminal legal systems are radically different than the rules of law in the United States or Europe. Although there are some aspects of criminal law in some countries in Central/South America that have changed their criminal justice system from one of an inquisatorial nature to one of an accusatorial system much like the United States, their court system is still radically different. Historically, the criminal justice system under the former inquisatorial system did not allow oral hearings or motions before the judges. Instead, normally the prosecutor and defense attorneys simply wrote their legal arguments and presented them to the judge who sometimes took months or in some cases years to make a decision. Although now some countries have a more streamlined criminal justice system similar to the United States their is still no right to a jury trial in the majority of countries and cases.
Unfortunately, the civil justice system in Latin America has changed very little over the years and basically follows the Spanish Law system which allows the judge great latitude and extensive time periods to decide a case, once again without a right to a jury trial. Civil cases in Latin America often take years to conclude which makes it difficult for Americans and Europeans to comprehend the delays. Also, although there are many honest judges and attorneys in Latin America the corruption factor still prevails in many instances in many cases prejudicing foreigners with an interest in a legal case if the other party is from the particular country where the legal action originates.
Therefore before hiring any attorney in Latin America it is important to find a firm that has a track record for honesty, experience and a history of positive results for their clients. Our firm is familiar with many firms with whom we have handled legal cases as co-counsel with positive and successful results for the client who is a foreigner and totally unfamiliar with the laws of the particular nation involved. This does not mean that criminal or civil legal cases always result favorably for each and every client we represent. However, our goal is to represent all of our clients both corporate and individuals zealously together with our foreign co-counsel in order to obtain a fair and beneficial result in their legal matter. Whether our client is involved in a business dispute, divorce, has been involved in a serious accident with injuries or accused of a serious crime either in the U.S. or abroad, we always apply our best efforts for the benefit of our clients who are very important to us.