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Weltman, Bernstein Privacy Policy

Weltman, Bernstein 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 Weltman, Bernstein. The Act gives you rights concerning the privacy of your personal information.

Weltman, Bernstein 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 Weltman, Bernstein Need Personal Information?

Weltman, Bernstein 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: 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.

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.

Weltman, Bernstein 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, Weltman, Bernstein 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 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 (like 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?

Weltman, Bernstein 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;
  • 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 Weltman, Bernstein holds information about you and you can establish that it is not accurate, complete and up-to-date, Weltman, Bernstein 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;
  • when granting you access would have an unreasonable impact on other people’s privacy;
  • when to do so would prejudice negotiations with you;
  • to protect our firm’s rights and property;
  • where the request is frivolous or vexatious.

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

Weltman, Bernstein 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 practicable, 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 Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act requires us to confirm the identity of all new clients. It may also require us 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 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 Weltman, Bernstein 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 Unit 127, 5050 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T5. 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 Weltman, Bernstein 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.

Web Site

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 optimise our web service. We may provide aggregated information to third parties, but these statistics do not include any identifiable personal information.

What Our Clients Say

Thank you so much for your wonderful help and patience. You helped me get through a terrible time in my life. You're the best!
C.R., Richmond Hill

Lawrence Weltman is the most supportive, caring and effective lawyer I have ever met. He handled my accident claim with amazing results. His fee which only came at the end of the case. It was the most reasonable rate of all the law firms we checked. I recommend this firm 100%.

J.C., Vaughan
"I felt they were at fault but I wasn’t sure if I had a case… I was extremely pleased with Mr. Weltman’s service. He was confident and experienced. The staff was very helpful. Not only did I not pay anything up front but his fee at the end was actually less than we had discussed… It was all explained in writing. I felt that there was justice in the end. When my case was settled I was able to buy a new car…"
F.R., Mississauga, Ontario.
"The loss of our son in this senseless accident was unbearable at times… It was comforting at least that our case was handled with great sensitivity. I knew he was sincere when his eyes welled up at times throughout our meetings. Mr. Weltman is a strong advocate and a most caring individual. He sat down with us and explained the law.... Of all the settlements in this multi-victim collision we understand we got the highest amount… We would certainly recommend Mr. Weltman to anyone who has suffered a loss in a serious accident."
W.J., Barrie, Ontario.

"There were times we wanted to settle earlier but Mr. Weltman explained that once we settle that is it. It didn’t seem like such a big case at first…over time we saw….our daughter’s injury was not completely resolved. I am grateful that we waited the necessary time before we settled the claim. … it turned out my daughter’s injury required more surgery and she had a real rough time in dealing with the situation.. The insurance company wasn’t taking us seriously… Mr. Weltman was there with us all the way. At the end it was really worth the wait and we didn’t have to go to court."

M.H., Thornhill, Ontario.
"You made yourself available... We met with other lawyers but we trusted you the most. You showed us the way to present our loss so the insurance people appreciated who our father was and what he meant to our family, especially our mother. …we could talk to you and understood the way the system works. Thank you Lawrence so much for your expert and professional assistance."
M.A., Toronto, Ontario.
"My father is in the insurance business and he was amazed that you were able to get me the money you did when you settled my case. Thanks a million….I already recommended you to my friend and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again."
K.S., Toronto, Ontario.
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