The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“Act”) came fully into effect and required compliance with all its provisions by all affected organizations in Canada on January 1, 2004. The conduct of every organization in Canada that uses, collects, or discloses personal information is governed by the Act. The obligations under the Act extend to lawyers and law firms, including Epstein Law. The Act gives individuals rights concerning the privacy of their personal information.
Epstein Law is responsible and accountable for the personal information we collect and hold. In order to inform our clients of our practices and policies regarding the collection, use, retention and disclosure of personal information, we have prepared and are providing this electronic copy of our Personal Policy. This policy outlines the framework of Epstein Law’s policies and practices regarding the handling of personal information in respect of its clients and others and supplements, where applicable, our professional obligations of confidentiality and solicitor/client privilege. Furthermore, to meet our obligations to our clients, we have informed our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.
Collection of Personal Information
Epstein Law collects personally identifiable information when voluntarily submitted by our visitors. Our practice is to collect information only by fair and lawful means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way. Wherever possible, we collect personal information directly from the client, at the start of an engagement and over the course of our representation.This is information that we must collect and use in order to provide our clients with legal services.
In some instances we may obtain information about our clients from other sources, for example:
- Financial institutions;
- Insurance companies;
- Other parties involved in our client’s transaction or file;
- Government agencies or registries;
- Employers (if we are acting for a client at their employer’s request);
- Accountants or other professional advisors; and
- Credit bureaus.
Generally, we collect such information in order to provide legal or other related services to our clients, to administer client accounts, to establish client relationships and other commercial relationships, and to comply with regulatory requirements. The information that our clients provide is used to fulfill their specific request. This information is only used to fulfill the specific request, unless we are provided with permission to use it in another manner. We will not, as a condition of providing our clients with legal services and products, require consent to the collection, use or disclosure of personal information beyond which is absolutely necessary.
What personal information do we collect?
Personal information includes any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced.
Examples of the type of information we collect include:
- Contact information, including, name, home address, email address and phone number
- Financial, credit, billing and account information to determine credit worthiness
- Information relating to a client’s legal issues
- Information about others collected in the course of representing a client, such as other parties to a transaction or lawsuit or witnesses
- Information regarding visitors to our office
- Information that clients have consented to us collecting, or information that we are otherwise permitted by law to collect
Who may process data?
Purpose of processing
We may use personal information for the purpose(s) of:
- providing services as requested;
- processing any other transactions authorized or made by the client;
- undertaking product or client research/development;
- conducting conflict searches, in order to determine whether we can represent the individual;
- fulfilling our legal and professional obligations, including client identification and verification rules and other requirements of the Law Society of Upper Canada or other applicable law societies;
- assessing client eligibility for credit;
- administering client accounts;
- managing our business, including auditing our operations and fulfilling contractual obligations;
- detecting negligence, fraud and theft;
- evaluating client satisfaction;
- security and emergency purposes (for visitors to our office);
- and providing other marketing and/or legal information.
Disclosure of information
Epstein Law undertakes not to provide personal information to third parties save in accordance with this policy and with the client’s express consent, or if required or authorized by law. In most cases, we shall request that the client specifically consent to our office collecting, using, or disclosing any of their personal information. As a general practice, we ask for such consent in writing, but in some circumstances, we may accept oral consent. In some instances, consent may be implied through our client’s conduct with us.
In addition, we may disclose personal information to third parties if we merge or reorganize. We may disclose such personal information before and after a transaction.
Whenever it is legal and practicable, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without providing an individual’s name (for example, by accessing general information on our website). The Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients. It may also require us to disclose information in relation to certain large cash transactions.
Security of Personal Information
Epstein Law has implemented policies and procedures to protect our client’s personal information from loss, unauthorized access, modifications or disclosure. We operate out of secure premises and have implemented technological safeguards including security software, passwords and firewalls to prevent unauthorized computer access.
Please be advised that no method of storing or transmission is completely secure. While we take all appropriate measures to protect our client’s personal information, there is always a risk that it may be lost, intercepted or misused. Epstein Law may exchange electronic versions of documents and e-mails with the client using commercially available software that is vulnerable to attack by viruses and other deconstructive electronic programs. We are unable to guarantee that all transmissions sent via e-mail will always be received, or that such transmissions will always be virus free. We make no warranty with respect to the integrity of any electronic communications with respect to the security of any such communication and the client consents to our exchange of electronic communications, including confidential documents, unencrypted.
On our website, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information in order to optimize our web service. This is in keeping of the practice of most other commercial websites. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics will not include any identifiable personal information.
The Epstein Law website may use cookie and tracking technology depending on the features offered. Cookie and tracking technology are useful for gathering information such as browser type and operating system, tracking the number of visitors to the Site, and understanding how visitors use the Site. Cookies can also help customize the Site for visitors. Personal information cannot be collected via cookies and other tracking technology, however, if the client previously provided personally identifiable information, cookies may be tied to such information. Aggregate cookie and tracking information may be shared with third parties.
Disclaimer of Warranty and Liability
We do not represent or warrant that the information accessible via this website and affiliated Social Media accounts is accurate, complete or current. We accept no liability whatsoever in respect of any use which the user makes of such information. While we make all reasonable attempts to exclude viruses from the website, we cannot ensure same, nor is any liability accepted for viruses. We therefore recommend that the user takes all appropriate safeguards before downloading information or images from this website. All warranties, express or implied, statutory or otherwise are hereby excluded. Neither we nor any of our employees or affiliated entities will be liable for any kind of damages, howsoever arising, including, but not limited to: loss of profits, compensatory, consequential, direct, exemplary, incidental, indirect, punitive, or special damages, or any liability which the user may have to a third party, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such loss. We are not responsible for the direct or indirect consequences of the user linking to any other website from this website.
The information obtained at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Users should consult a lawyer for advice regarding their individual situation. We invite users to contact us and welcome telephone calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an lawyer-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an lawyer-client relationship had been established.
Access to information
Clients may inquire as to whether we are storing personal information about them by contacting us. Upon request we will provide a copy of the personal data we hold about the individual which they are entitled to see. We may ask for proof of identity before providing any such information and we reserve the right to refuse to provide such information if identity is not established.
As we may use personal information in the course of providing legal services to our clients, it is important that the information records be accurate and up to date. We request that clients please inform our office in the event that any personal information changes so that we can make any necessary amendments.
Questions or Concerns
Epstein Law Professional Corporation
9001 Dufferin Street, Suite A9
By Phone: (905) 832-4LAW (4529)
By e-mail: email@example.com