Your Privacy Rights
From January 1, 2004, all businesses engaged in commercial activities must comply with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. These obligations extend to lawyers and law firms, including Dickie & Lyman Lawyers LLP (we). The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
The procedures set out in the last section of this policy, Providing Individual Access, have been created to comply with the new Act. Apart from those procedures this policy is the policy that John Dickie has followed since 1995 or earlier.
We are 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.
What information do we collect?
Personal information is information about you as an identifiable individual, or information by which your identity could be deduced. Personal information does not include the name, title, business address or business telephone number of any employee of an organization.
If we did not collect and use your personal information we could not provide you, as an individual, with legal services. If we did not collect and use business information we could not provide your company with legal services. Both personal information and business information are protected by our professional obligation, and our policies.
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 or business 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, from:
a government agency or registry;
your insurance company;
your real estate agent in a property transaction;
utility suppliers; or
tradespeople or contractors.
When you ask us to act for you, you are impliedly agreeing that we record the information you give us, and use it to further your instructions and our representation of you. You are also impliedly agreeing that we may make that use of the information we obtain from others.
In other cases, we will ask you to specifically consent if we collect, use, or disclose your information. Normally, we ask for your consent in writing, but 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 and your business information to:
provide legal advice and services to you;
administer our client time and billing databases;
collect our accounts receivable;
(at our discretion, and as time and resources permit) advise you of changes in the law in matter other than those we are obliged to report to you under our current retainer, if any; and
include you in any direct marketing activities (including firm Newsletters and the like).
As a law firm and as individuals we play a significant role in a number of landlord organizations relevant to Ottawa property owners, including
Eastern Ontario Landlord Organization
Ontario Regional Landlords Association,
Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, formerly Fair Rental Policy Organization of Ontario,
Canadian Federation of Apartments Association, and
Building Owners and Managers Association (Ottawa).
Given our extensive involvement we may contact you on behalf of one of these organizations if you are a landlord. Our purpose in doing so would be to:
provide you with information useful to landlords;
seek information from you useful to those organizations in furthering the interests of landlords; and
seek your participation in activities useful to the interests of landlords, including membership in those organizations.
In keeping with our obligations as lawyers, we will not reveal your information to those organizations without your express consent; rather, we will contact you on behalf of those organizations.
As a general rule we do not disclose your information to any third party to enable them to market their products and services. For example, we do not provide our client or contact mailing lists to providers of products for the real estate industry, nor to industry organizations. However, our marketing activities may include seminars or other activities given on a cooperative basis with other reputable providers of professional services, including assessment consultants, appraisers, government relations consultants, other law firms, seminar providers, and similar organizations. Without disclosing whether you are a client of ours, your name and address may be included in a contact list which we share with our co-provider(s) in order to publicize the seminars or other activities.
In addition, if we consider that a product or service would be particular value to landlords, we may notify you of the availability of that product or service. That would apply particularly to a new product or service.
We will limit the information we collect to what we need for the purposes listed above, and we will use it only for those purposes. We will obtain your consent if we wish to use your information for any other purpose. If you tell us in writing 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. We will also stop communicating with you on behalf of the landlord organizations if you tell us to stop.
Disclosure of your Information
As a general rule, all information about you or your business will be held in strict confidence and not revealed to anyone unless expressly or implicitly authorized by you. However, you should not send confidential information to us until you have had a direct discussion with one of our professionals about retaining us to provide legal services to you.
Despite this general rule of confidentiality, there are circumstances where disclosure may be justified or permitted, or where we are obliged to disclose information without consent. To illustrate, these circumstances could include:
Where disclosure is required by law or by order of a tribunal;
Where we believe, upon reasonable grounds, that there is an imminent risk to an identifiable person (or group) of death or serious bodily harm;
Where it is alleged that a member, associate or employee of Dickie & Lyman Lawyers LLP is guilty of a criminal offence, civilly liable in a legal action or guilty of malpractice or misconduct;
Where it is necessary to establish or collect our fees; or
Where the information is well known to the public.
In such circumstances, we will not disclose more information than is required.
Updating Your Information
Since we use your information to provide legal services to you, it is important that the information be accurate and up-to-date.
If any of your information changes while we are doing work for you, please inform us so that we can make any necessary changes.
Once we are not doing work for you, we will not keep your information up-to-date except for your contact information. We invite you to keep us up-to-date on your contact information so that we are able to send you information that may be useful to you.
Is Your Information Secure?
We endeavour to maintain adequate physical, procedural and technical security with respect to our offices and information storage facilities so as to prevent any unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, or modification.
Access to information will be authorized only for our lawyers, non-lawyer employees, representatives and service providers who require access in the performance of their duties, to any person granted access by you through the consent process and to those otherwise authorized by law. When providing information to service providers acting on our behalf, we will give them only the information necessary to perform the services for which they are engaged, and will require that they not store, analyse or use that information for purposes other than to carry out those services.
If you send us an e-mail message that includes personal information (such as your name included in the "address"), we will use that information to respond to your inquiry. Please remember that e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. If your communication is very sensitive, or includes information such as your bank account or credit card number, you should not send it electronically unless the e-mail is encrypted or your browser indicates that the access to our Web site is secure.
As a general rule, we will retain your personal information and business information for at least 21 years. After we have closed your file, we will have it stored by a reputable file storage company in their facilities. As a matter of contract with the storage company, we will be the only organization able to access the file and information. After 21 years we may destroy your file, except for any original documents
Providing Individual Access
We will give you access to the information we retain about you within a reasonable time if you make a written request, and provide satisfactory identification and proof of entitlement. (We will respond with the information within 30 days unless we give you notice otherwise.) You also have the right to know:
how we collected your information;
how we are using it; and
to whom it may have been disclosed, except where such disclosure was to a governmental body (or to a person who provides service to Dickie & Lyman Lawyers LLP for routine purposes).
We may charge you a nominal fee, and if so, we will give you notice in advance of processing your request.
In some cases we may not provide access to information within our possession or control. This may occur when:
the information is protected by solicitor-client privilege;
disclosure would reveal confidential commercial information of Dickie & Lyman Lawyers LLP;
providing access would be likely to reveal personal information about a third party or could pose a threat to the security of the third party, and the information cannot be segregated; or
the information has been collected during the investigation of a legal matter or cannot be disclosed for other legal reasons, such as a non-disclosure agreement.
If we deny your individual request for access to your personal information, we will advise you in writing of the reason for the refusal and you may then challenge our decision.
Our Information Officer, June Carter, can be reached at:
Dickie & Lyman Lawyers LLP
1600 Carling Ave., Suite 640
Ottawa ON K1Z 1G3
Phone: (613) 235-0101
Fax: (613) 238-0101
Our information officer will attempt to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
If you wish to make a formal complaint about our privacy practices, you may make it in writing to our Information Officer. Our information officer will acknowledge receipt of your complaint, ensure that it is investigated promptly and that you are provided with a formal decision and reasons in writing.
This policy is made under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. It is a complex Act which provides some additional exceptions to the privacy principles that are too detailed to set out here. This policy is also subject to change from time to time.
For more general inquiries about the collection and use of personal information, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Canada oversees the administration of the privacy legislation in the private sector. The Commissioner also acts as a kind of ombudsman for privacy disputes. The Information and Privacy Commissioner can be reached at:
112 Kent Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3
Phone: (613) 995-8210
Fax: (613) 947-6850
TTY: (613) 992-9190
Updated: January 15, 2004