Privacy Policy & Disclaimer

Thomas H. Buck Law Office 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 manage your personal information and safeguard your privacy.

Your Privacy Rights

From 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 Thomas H. Buck Law Office.  The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.

Thomas H. Buck Law Office 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.

Why Does Thomas H. Buck Law Office Need Personal Information

Thomas H. Buck Law Office provides legal services and products to a wide range of clients.  In doing so, it produces direct marketing materials concerning its 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.  If we did not collect and use your personal information we could not provide you with legal 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, such as from:

  • your insurance company;
  • your real estate agent in property transaction;
  • from a government agency or registry;
  • your employer, if we are acting for you, at its request;
  • your accountant.

Consent

In most cases, we shall ask you to specifically consent, if we collect, use, or disclose your personal 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 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.

Thomas H. Buck Law Office 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.

Disclosure of your Personal Information

Under certain circumstances, Thomas H. Buck Law Office 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 requires us to give your information to third parties (for example, a lender in a real estate mortgage transaction), 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 (for example, 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;
  • if the information is already publicly known.

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?

Thomas H. Buck Law Office 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:

  • security on the premises;
  • 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.

Access to Your Personal Information

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.

Correcting Errors

If Thomas H. Buck Law Office holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, Thomas H. Buck Law Office will take reasonable steps to correct it.

Can I be Denied Access to My Personal Information?

Your rights to access your personal information are not absolute.

We may deny access when:

  • denial of access is required or authorized by law (for example, when a record containing personal information about you is subject to a claim of legal professional privilege by one of our clients);
  • information relates to existing or anticipated legal proceedings against you;
  • granting you access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy;
  • to do so would prejudice negotiations with you;
  • required to protect our firm’s rights and property;
  • the request is frivolous or vexatious.

If we deny your requests for access to, or refuse a request to correct information, we shall explain why.

Thomas H. Buck Law Office does not use your Social Insurance Number as a way of identifying or organizing the information we hold upon you.

Can I request anonymity?

Whenever it is legal and practical, we may offer the opportunity to deal with general inquiries without providing your 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 to FINTRAC in relation to certain large cash transactions.

Credit Bureaus

To help us make credit decisions about clients, prevent fraud, check the identity of new clients and prevent money laundering, we may on occasion, request information about you from the files of consumer reporting agencies.

Communicating with Us

You should be aware that email is not a 100% secure medium, and you should be aware of this when contacting us to send personal or confidential information.  Please note that unless you are a client of our firm with an open file on which we have agreed to act, no information provided in an email by you to us will be considered confidential.  You should not send such information to us until you have met with a lawyer at this firm and he or she has agreed to act on your behalf.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

Since Thomas H. Buck Law Office regularly reviews all of its policies and procedures, we may change our Privacy Policy from time to time.

Requests for Access

If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, please write to our Privacy Contact at:

Thomas H. Buck Law Office

442 Grey Street, Unit G

Brantford, Ontario

N3S 7N3

Attention:  Monique Quagliotto, Privacy Officer

If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:

112 Kent Street

Ottawa, Ontario

K1A 1H3

1-800-282-1376

Employment Inquiries

If you apply to Thomas H. Buck Law Office for a job, we need to consider your personal information as part of our review process.  We normally 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.

Website

Our website contains links to other sites, which are not governed by this privacy policy.

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 services.  We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.

Disclaimer

The material provided and linked from this website is provided without warranty and is intended only to provide broadly applicable information.  No material provided herein should be considered legal advice.  We recommend that you seek expert legal advice relating to your own unique situation.

Note contacting us by email or voice mail in requesting our services does not mean that we will in fact act for you.  You must set an appointment, meet with a lawyer and have the lawyer agree to represent you before you become a client.  Please protect yourself accordingly until such an agreement to act on your behalf is entered into.