Q: How do I get a Brazilian arbitration court default judgment enforced in US (Probably Florida)
I'm a citizen of Florida. A Brazilian company I was a partner in was stolen by forging my signature when I was out of the country. That company is now trading on the NYSE (with my forged signature). I sued and won in Brazilian Arbitration Court under UNCITRAL treaty. The judgment was to return my shares to me and undo the fraudulent transaction. However, the local companies involved fled Brazil, and the Braz. Arb. court could not enforce the judgment. The companies who "bought" (stole) the company are big, well recognized US Delaware Corporations. Because it is an arbitration agreement done under UNCITRAL I am told the US should honor it.
How do I go about getting it recognized and enforced? Would anyone take a case like this on contingency? The stock is worth billions, but I don't have thousands to pay a lawyer right now. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
There are a few distinct issues involved in your inquiry: the recognition of a Brazilian Arbitration Award and the attachment of US Company assets. (In order to answer, I will of course assume all the facts you stated are true unless they are contradictory.)
Even before reaching the question of whether you can have an American Court recognize the Brazilian Arbitration Award (which involves a close question under your facts since it is unclear whether the Brazilian Respondents actually appeared in the Brazilian Arbitration), the real question is whether you can reach the assets purchased by the Delaware Companies. This involves the law of fraudulent conveyances. There are two issues here: first, what was the consideration paid to the Brazilian entities (that you say have "fled") for their assets by the US Public Companies? Was it unreasonably low, or were they on notice that you had already brought a claim against those Brazilian entities? And, even if those questions were answered in the affirmative, whether the US Companies have so complicated the transfer of the assets that the reach of the Award could pierce those liability shields. Of course, I could look at the underlying documents to make an initial assessment, as could any expert in Arbitration and Fraudulent Conveyances, so you can locate my email on my website or on Justia.
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