Fine & Associates Professional Corporation recognizes the importance of privacy and the sensitivity of personal information. As lawyers, we have a professional obligation to keep confidential all information we receive within a lawyer/client relationship. It is a position of trust. We are committed to protecting any personal information we hold.
This Policy Statement has been prepared to affirm our commitment to maintaining the privacy of our clients and others and to inform you of our practices concerning the collection, use and disclosure of Personal Information collected by Fine & Associates Professional Corporation.
A professional relationship develops when Fine & Associates Professional Corporation agrees to be retained to provide services to a particular individual. In order to protect their own interests, individuals should not send confidential information to Fine & Associates Professional Corporation until they have had a direct discussion with a professional at the firm regarding the retention of Fine & Associates Professional Corporation to provide legal services.
Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (the “Act”) and the Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the protection of personal information, which it incorporates. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Fine & Associates Professional Corporation . The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
Fine & Associates Professional Corporation is responsible for the personal information we collect and hold. To ensure this accountability, we have developed this policy and trained our lawyers and support staff about our policies and practices.
Purposes for Collection of Personal Information
Our firm collects personal information for the following limited purposes:
- to establish and maintain client lists;
- to represent you as our client; and
- for internal purposes including the professional development of firm lawyers and law clerks.
What Personal Information Do We Collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced. We collect and use your personal information in order to provide you with legal services. Our firm restricts the collection of personal information only to that information that is necessary for the purposes noted above. We are committed to collecting personal information in a fair, open and lawful manner. Wherever possible, we collect your personal information directly from you at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation.
In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information. Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.
Fine & Associates Professional Corporation uses remarketing with Google Analytics to advertise online.
Third-party vendors, including Google, may show your ads on sites across the Internet.
Fine & Associates Professional Corporation and third-party vendors, including Google, use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookie) and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) together to inform, optimize, and serve ads based on someone’s past visits to your website.
Fine & Associates Professional Corporation and third-party vendors, including Google, use first-party cookies (such as the Google Analytics cookies) and third-party cookies (such as the DoubleClick cookie) together to report how your ad impressions, other uses of ad services, and interactions with these ad impressions and ad services are related to visits to your site.
Fine & Associates Professional Corporation uses data from Google’s Interest-based advertising or 3rd-party audience data (such as age, gender, and interests) with Google Analytics to optimize ads and improve website usability for our target audience.
By using the following Ads Settings, users can opt-out of Google Analytics for Display Advertising and customize Google Display Network ads. Users are also able to opt-out of sharing data with Google Analytics with the following browser add on: browser opt-outs.
Use of Your Information
By retaining our firm, you have confirmed your trust in us. We are honoured by this trust and take pride in serving you.
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you and to administer our client (time and billing) databases. We are obliged for legal purposes to retain our client files after the end of the retainer.
Fine & Associates Professional Corporation does not disclose your personal information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. For example, we do not provide our client mailing lists to other law firms.
Our firm stores and maintains personal information in conformity with the requirements of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the model code for the protection of personal information created and approved by the Canadian Standards Association.
Disclosure of Your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, Fine & Associates Professional Corporation will disclose your personal information:
- When we are required or authorized by law to do so, for example if a court issues a subpoena;
- When you have consented to the disclosure;
- When the legal services we are providing to you require us to give your information to third parties (for example, a professional retained to conduct a custody/access assessment or a mediation) your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- When it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- Where Fine & Associates Professional Corporation believes, upon reasonable grounds, that it is necessary to protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of an identifiable person or group;
- If we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;
- If the information is already publicly known.
- Fine & Associates Professional Corporation keep Personal Information only as long as it is required for the reasons it was collected. The length of time we retain information varies, depending on the product or service and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of a person’s relationship with us but it will be only for so long as it is necessary for us to have sufficient information to respond to any issues that may arise at a later date. When your Personal Information is no longer required for Fine & Associates Professional Corporations’ purposes, we have procedures to destroy, delete, erase or convert it into an anonymous form.
Is My Personal Information Secure?
Our firm has developed and implemented security safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the personal information kept by us. We take all reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect your information are:
- Premises security;
- Restricted file access to personal information;
- Deploying technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- Internal password and security policies
We ensure that any of our employees who deal with personal information are properly trained and are aware of the necessary and appropriate measures required to protect personal information.
Our firm is committed to maintaining accurate, complete and up-to-date personal information. If you are aware of changes to the personal information you have given to us, simply inform us of the changes and we will update our records accordingly.
Communicating With Us
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium. In addition, mail, telephone calls, faxes and transmissions over the Internet are all susceptible to possible loss, misrouting, interception and misuse of the information being communicated or transmitted. You should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.
As do many organizations, Fine & Associates Professional Corporation attempts to strike a reasonable balance between security and convenience. In communicating with clients and others, Fine & Associates Professional Corporation often requests the right to use a method of communication that is less secure than some of its less convenient alternatives. An example of this is e-mail. At this time, when we use e-mail, it may be sent as unencrypted plain text. We do this because Fine & Associates Professional Corporation believes that many of our clients and others cannot readily process encrypted e-mail. This is done for their convenience but has the security concern that, if misrouted or intercepted, it could be read more easily than encrypted e-mail.
On our website, like most other commercial websites, we may monitor traffic patterns, site usage and related site information in order to optimize our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.