Use of information
The information provided on the Forget Smith website is for general information purposes only. The site is not designed to answer questions or provide legal advice. Do not rely upon the information provided on this website as legal advice in respect of your individual situation, or any situation, nor use it as a substitute for individual legal advice.
No lawyer-client relationship
No lawyer-client, advisory, fiduciary or other relationship is created by accessing or using the Forget Smith website or by communicating with any of its lawyers or employees by way of e-mail. Please also note that any information sent or received over the internet is generally not secure. Forget Smith cannot guarantee the security of privacy of any communication, in any form, on the website.
- Forget Smith has made reasonable efforts to ensure that the materials contained on this website are accurate, despite same; it does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of the materials. The website and information provided on the website are provided “as is” and “as available” without representations, warranties or conditions of any kind, either express or implied. As a user of the website, you acknowledge and agree that you are using the website, and if applicable, the content, at your own risk and liability.
- In no event shall Forget Smith, its partners, agents, consultants, licensors or employees be liable for any loss, cost or damages of any kind (including, without limitation, damages for harm to business, loss of profits, programs, data, interruption of activities or any other pecuniary or economic loss) whether direct, indirect, special, incidental, punitive, exemplary, consequential or otherwise arising out of any use or misuse of, or any defects, inaccuracies, errors or omissions in this site without regard to the form of action, even if Forget Smith has been advised of the possibility of damages, or whether Forget Smith knew or ought to have known of the possibility of damages.
Confidentiality and technology
Forget Smith does not guarantee the confidentiality of any communication via e-mail that relates to a matter for which the firm does not already represent you. In any event, it should be noted that matters where Forget Smith does represent you, e-mail may still not be secure.
Forget Smith will does not warrant or guarantee that the website will be free from viruses, malware, worms or other harmful components, and that communications to or from the website will be secure and/or not intercepted. You acknowledge and agree that you are using the website at your own risk and liability.
The laws of the province of Ontario and the laws of Canada apply and govern the use of this website and the interpretation, validity and effect of this agreement, notwithstanding any conflict of laws, provisions or your domicile, residence or physical location. You consent and submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the province of Ontario in any action or proceeding related to this website
A. POLICY & PURPOSE
Forget Smith is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of confidentiality with respect to all employee and client information. Forget Smith is also committed to ensuring that the handling of information is in compliance with applicable privacy legislation, including the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”).
In addition, this policy will ensure that Forget Smith’s procedures comply with all laws governing the collection, retention, use and disclosure of personal information.
Forget Smith’s obligations as legal professionals are governed, in part, by the Rules of Professional Conduct, as published by the Law Society of Upper Canada. Adherence to these rules is required of Forget Smith and by it, as is the case for all individuals working at Forget Smith and providing services in connection with the delivery of legal services to clients.
B.1. Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
C.1. This policy will be effective on January 1, 2013.
C.2. The Privacy Officer in Ottawa is Marc Smith.
C.3. The Privacy Officer in Toronto is Martin Forget.
C.4. The Designated Associate for processing access requests and responding to inquiries and complaints in Ottawa is Karen Borovay.
C.5. The Designated Associate for processing access requests and responding to inquiries and complaints in Toronto is Jessica Harrison.
D. DEFINITION - PERSONAL INFORMATION
D.1. “Personal Information” is defined broadly as information about an identifiable individual or as information that allows an individual to be identified. Personal Information includes information such as address, gender, age, ID numbers, income, ethnic origin, employee files, credit records or medical records.
D.2. “Personal Information” does not include what is considered business contact information, such as one’s name, title or position, business address, business telephone or facsimile number, or business e-mail address.
E. PERSONAL INFORMATION
E.1. Purpose & Collection of Information
E.1.a. Forget Smith, in the usual course of business, will be collecting Personal Information so that legal services may be provided effectively.
E.1.b. Forget Smith will collect Personal Information only by lawful and fair means, and not in an intrusive way. Wherever possible, Forget Smith will collect Personal Information directly from the individual, both at the commencement of a retainer and in the course of the legal representation.
E.1.c. Forget Smith may obtain information about an individual from other sources, such as the following:
- Insurance companies;
- Financial institutions;
- Credit bureaus;
- Real estate agent in a property transaction;
- Government agency or registry;
- An employer, upon request;
- An accountant or other professional advisors; and
- Other third parties with the right to disclose such personal information.
E.2. Consent to Use and Disclosure of Personal Information
E.2.b. When Forget Smith is retained to act on a client’s behalf, there may be circumstances in which the use and/or disclosure of Personal Information will be required, justified and/or permitted.
E.2.c. Forget Smith is obliged to share relevant information about a client’s case with other lawyers and the court, pursuant to the requirements of the law, professional obligations and /or the rules of court. However, unless required to share information in order to carry out the obligations upon Forget Smith and its employees, all information shall otherwise be kept strictly confidential.
E.2.d. In addition, there are circumstances where collection, use and/or disclosure may be required, justified and/or permitted, or where Forget Smith is obliged to disclose Personal Information without a client’s consent. These circumstances include:
- Information that is publicly available as defined by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act;
- Where Forget Smith is required to do so by law or by order of a court or tribunal;
- Where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- Where Forget Smith believes, 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 an employee, officer, agent or director of Forget Smith is guilty of a criminal offence, or is civilly liable in a legal action or guilty of certain misconduct.
E.2.e. In the above-noted circumstances, Forget Smith will not collect, use or disclose more Personal Information than is absolutely required.
E.2.f. Personal Information may be disclosed to organizations or agents which perform services on behalf of Forget Smith. Personal Information will only be provided to such organizations/agents if it is first agreed that the use of the information will be solely for the purpose of providing services to Forget Smith, under the instruction of the firm, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
F. SECURITY OF PERSONAL INFORMATION
F.1. Forget Smith takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that a client’s Personal Information is kept safe from loss, unauthorized access, modification or disclosure. Among the steps taken to protect a client’s information are:
- Premises security;
- Restricted file access to personal information;
- Deploying technological safeguards such as security software and firewalls to prevent hacking or unauthorized computer access;
- Internal password and security policies.
F.2 Clients must be aware that it is possible for e-mails and text messages to be intercepted while being routed over the Internet, and that client confidentiality may be breached in this manner. In addition, the sharing of e-mails or text messages by a client or through acceptance of such communications without proper firewalls or similar technology safeguards in place may have the effect of inadvertently breaching client confidentiality, as well.
F.3. As an added precaution on the part of Forget Smith, all e-mail communications contain a statement advising that the communication is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed and contains information that is privileged and confidential; any unauthorized disclosure, copying, use or other distribution of the communication is strictly prohibited.
F.4. Should clients wish to forego communications over technologically advanced mediums as described above, thereby limiting the risk of an inadvertent breach of confidentiality, it is requested that written instructions to this effect be provided to Forget Smith.
G.1. Personal Information will only be kept for as long as it is required and in accordance with Forget Smith’s record-keeping obligations in compliance with the Law Society of Upper Canada’s guidelines in this regard.
G.2. When Personal Information and/or files are no longer required and there has been compliance with the guidelines of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Forget Smith has in place procedures to destroy, delete and/or erase said Personal Information and/or files.
G.3. On the Forget Smith website, traffic patterns may be monitored, including site usage and related site information in order to optimize Forget Smith’s web service. Such information is stored on-site on secure servers or on secure third-party servers located within Canada.
H. ACCESS TO PERSONAL INFORMATION
H.1. It may be requested by a client to access one’s own Personal Information held by Forget Smith. Summary information is available on request, but requests seeking greater detail, which would require archive or other retrieval costs, may be subject to customary professional and disbursement fees.
H.2. A client’s right to access their own Personal Information is not absolute. Access may be denied in the following circumstances, for example:
- It is required or authorized by law to withhold the Personal Information;
- To do so would reveal confidential commercial information, and the Personal Information cannot be severed from the record;
- To do so could reasonably be expected to threaten the life or security of another individual, and the Personal Information cannot be severed from the record; or
- The information was generated in the course of a formal dispute resolution process, and its production is prohibited.
H.3. If Forget Smith denies a client’s request to access or correct information, a full explanation shall be provided.
The Privacy Officers at Forget Smith, to whom all inquiries are to be directed, are: