The law firm of W. Marlene Fitzpatrick recognizes the importance of your privacy and the sensitivity of your personal information. Lawyers have a professional obligation to keep confidential all information received within the lawyer–client relationship. You can be assured of our commitment to the accuracy, privacy and security of your personal information.
Personal information is any information which may identify you, or by which your identity could be deduced. Such information includes your name, home address and telephone number, marital status, income, and personal email address. It does not include the name, job title, business address or business telephone number of an employee of an organization.
Your personal information is required to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer client lists and databases (time and billing), protect against fraud and error and communicate with you generally from time to time. Your personal information is not shared with any third party for purposes of marketing their products or services.
Personal information is collected only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive manner. Whenever possible, your personal information is collected directly from you, during your initial consultation or in the course of your representation. However, in some circumstances, it may be necessary to obtain your personal information from other sources such as your accountant, your real estate agent, your insurance company or a government agency or registry.
Under certain circumstances, your personal information may be disclosed without your knowledge or consent. Such instances may include the following:
- when required or authorized by law to do so (for example, complying with a summons or warrant which has been issued or a court order which has been made by a court, person or body with jurisdiction compelling production of records, or to comply with the rules of the court relating to the production of records subject always to the solicitor and client privilege);
- disclosure to the government institution mentioned in Section7 of the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act as required by that section;
- the information is publicly available;
- it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- when the legal services being provided require us to give your personal information to a third party such as a mortgage lender or your insurance agent (in a real estate transaction, your consent will be implied unless you advise otherwise);
- if an expert or a lawyer in another jurisdiction is retained on your behalf;
- in the event of an emergency.
Since your personal information is necessary to provide legal services to you, it is important that such information be accurate and up-to-date. If any of your personal information changes during the course of your retainer, please advise our office immediately so the necessary changes can be made to all active file(s) and databases.
All reasonable precautions shall be taken to ensure that your personal information is protected from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Safeguards include:
- secured premises;
- the use of technological safeguards like security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- internal password and security policies.
You should understand that the use of email is not a secure medium. Therefore, should you communicate with us by email or request, impliedly or explicitly, that we communicate with you by email, you consent to the disclosure of any personal or other confidential information in the event the electronic transmission is accessed by a party not intended to receive the email communication.
At the conclusion of your matter, your file will be purged of any documents which are of no further value. All original documents will be returned to you; copies of documents will be returned to you or permanently destroyed.
You may request access to your personal information. However, your right to access your personal information is not absolute and may be denied when:
denial of access is required or authorized by law;
granting access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy;
to protect our firm’s rights and property;
granting access would prejudice negotiations with you;
the request is frivolous or vexatious.