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 RSR. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.
RSR 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 RSR Collect Personal Information?
RSR 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 RSR 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.
In most cases, we will 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.
Disclosure of your Personal Information
Under certain circumstances, RSR 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 CCRA) your consent will be implied, unless you tell us otherwise;
- where it is necessary to establish or collect fees;
- 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; and
- if we retain experts to assist in dealing with the CCRA.
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?
RSR 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; and
- 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.
If RSR holds information about you and you establish and advise us that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, RSR will take reasonable steps to amend our records.
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.
If you apply to RSR 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.
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.
Requests for Access
If you have any questions, or wish to access your personal information, on file with RSR, please write to:
Rasmussen Starr Ruddy, Privacy Officer, 660-1600 Carling Avenue, Ottawa, ON K1Z 1G3
If you are not satisfied with our response, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can be reached at:
112 Kent Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 1H3
I have referred several people to Melody MacDonell over the years. She is extremely knowledgeable, professional and efficient. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend anyone at Rasmussen Starr Ruddy.
A big thank you to Melody and her staff. Melody is straight forward and knows her stuff. Although going through a separation is hard, I was very confident things would work out in my favor. And they did. Looking forward to the next new chapter to begin. Thanks again Melody.
I don’t know what I would have done without them. You may not remember every word they say, but you’ll never forget how they make you feel.
Their personal skills are great: they’re very easy to deal with. I question a lot and they’re very accommodating.
I like the fact that I can pick up the phone and talk to my lawyer, not an assistant. Other firms are getting too big to provide personal service.
They have a clear understanding of our business and are very responsive. The partners are well respected among their peers.
They’re prompt, intelligent, give good advice, and charge reasonable rates.