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Drache Aptowitzer LLP, Privacy Policy

Drache Aptowitzer LLP ("DALLP") 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.  We are committed to protecting any personal information we hold.  This Privacy Policy outlines how we protect the personal information of our clients and other individuals.

Your Privacy Rights
Commencing January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents 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 DALLP.  The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
DALLP 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, in order to implement our policies and practices.

Why Does DALLP Collect Personal Information?
DALLP collects, uses and discloses personal information about our clients and other individuals in order to provide our clients with legal services.  In doing so, we may also produce direct marketing materials concerning our services and developments in the law.

What personal information do we collect?
Personal information is any information that identifies you, or by which your identity could be deduced.  The types of personal information that DALLP may collect about you includes your name, home address, telephone number, personal e-mail address, billing account information, information about a client's legal issue and other information incidental to providing legal advice and services.

How do we collect your personal information?
We collect information only by lawful and fair means and not in an unreasonably intrusive way.  Wherever possible we collect your personal information directly from you, at the start of a retainer and in the course of our representation. Sometimes we may obtain information about you from other sources:  for example,

·               your insurance company;

·               your real estate agent in a property transaction;

·               from a government agency or registry;

·               your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request;

·               your accountant;

·               your other lawyers;

·               financial planners;

·               insurance agents;

·               investment advisors;

·               medical advisors;

·               financial institutions &

·               documents provided during the course of litigation.

At times, we shall ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal information.  We may ask for your consent in writing, or, in some circumstances, we may accept your oral consent.  Sometimes, your consent may be implied through your conduct with us.

Use of Your Information
We use your personal information to provide legal advice and services to you, to administer our client time and billing databases and to include you in any direct marketing activities.  If you tell us that you no longer wish to receive information about our services or about new developments in the law, we will not send any further material.

Disclosure of your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, DALLP may disclose your personal information.  For example:

·               when you have consented to the disclosure;

·               when the legal services we are providing to you requires us to give your information to third parties (for example a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction, or the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) ) your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;

·               where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;

·               if we engage a third party to provide administrative services to us (such as service agents, document management agencies, computer back-up services or archival file storage) and the third party is bound by our privacy policy;

·               if we engage expert witnesses on your behalf;

·               if we retain other law firms in other jurisdictions, on your behalf;

·               when we are required or authorized by law to do so &

·               if we retain experts to assist in dealing with the CRA.

Updating Your Information
Since we use your personal information to provide legal services to you, it is important that the information be accurate and up-to-date.
If during the course of the retainer, any of your information changes, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.

Is My Personal Information Secure?
DALLP takes 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;

·               technological safeguards such as security software and firewalls to prevent hacking   or unauthorized computer access;

·               internal password and security policies & proper training of lawyers and support staff in respect to privacy matters.

Access to Your Personal Information
Subject to certain exceptions, you may ask for access to any personal information we hold about you.
Summary information is available on request.  More detailed requests which require archive or other retrieval costs may be subject to our normal professional and disbursement fees.
In limited circumstances, DALLP may deny access when:

·               denial of access is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information about the requester is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by one of our other clients);

·               information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against a client;

·               granting access to a client would have an unreasonable impact on other people's privacy;

·               to do so would prejudice negotiations with a client;

·               the request is frivolous or vexatious.

If we refuse your request for access, or refuse a request to correct information, we will send a letter to you outlining why your request has been denied.

Correcting Errors
If DALLP holds information about you and you establish and advise us that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, DALLP will take reasonable steps to amend our records.

Employment Inquiries
If you apply to DALLP for a job, we need to consider your personal information supplied with your application, as part of our review process.  We may retain information from candidates after a decision has been made, unless you ask us not to retain the information.  If we offer you a job, which you accept, the information will be retained in accordance with our privacy procedures for employee records.

Web Site
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 no include any identifiable personal information.

Communicating with Us
You should be aware that e-mail is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.

Changes to this Privacy Policy
Since DALLP regularly reviews all of its policies and procedures; we may change our Privacy Policy from time to time.  These changes will be posted on our website.

Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, on file with DALLP, please write to: Adam Aptowitzer, 226 MacLaren Street, Ottawa, Ontario K2P 0L6

If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1H3/Telephone # 1-800-282-1376