For more than 100 years, we at Carlton Fields, P.A. ("Carlton Fields" or "Firm") have been committed to providing top-quality legal service, advice, and support to our clients. A long standing and necessary component of our practice has been our unwavering commitment to hold the information you give us in confidence. With all of our clients, only so much information as is necessary to accomplish the client's goals is communicated with others.
Information We Collect
We collect personally identifiable Information at different times during our engagement. Information is collected in order to assist us in analyzing your legal rights and options and to best serve your interests.
Information we collect comes to us in the following ways:
- Information you provide to us in correspondence, documents, and discussions;
- Information you provide on forms that we ask you to fill out, either for our records or for us to file with an appropriate agency or government office;
- Information we collect during our relationship with you, so we can provide legal services such as real estate settlement and closing services or tax advice;
- Information that is publicly available, such as deeds or mortgages which have been publicly filed;
- Information that you provide to us for us to use in a case, settlement negotiation, or other proceeding; and
- Information that we obtain during our billing process.
The type of Information we collect depends on the services that you have asked us to provide. For example, in a real estate closing, we collect address and contact numbers, financial information such as the price of the home you are selling or purchasing, and information relating to your mortgage and insurance, if you have obtained them. If you visit our website, our servers may log information such as your IP address, the pages you click on and how much time you spend there, and the web page you came from and go to next. We also save the information you transmit to us on our website when you ask us to send you brochures or applications. If you send us a letter, email or fax, we save that information in our files, so we can respond to your questions or comments in order to best represent your interests.
Categories of Non-Affiliated Service Providers with Whom We Work
It should be obvious that we never provide Information to anyone unrelated to the matter we are handling for you. We do not, for example, provide information for purposes of mailing lists, and the like. But we do from time to time need to retain other services in connection with a matter we are handling. Sometimes we retain non-affiliated Service Providers such as court reporters, title insurance companies, messenger services, copy services and the like. These Service Providers often assist us in a number of ways in managing information relating to your matter.
We also often work with other parties such as accountants, expert witnesses, credit bureaus, bankers, and other businesses as necessary to perform our legal services for you. In such instances, we cannot always ensure that all information given to such businesses will be held in the same strict confidence as we do.
Information We Disclose
We ask our Service Providers to hold any Information we provide to them in confidence, and use the Information only to provide the services we have hired them to perform for you and for us. We may disclose your Information to credit bureaus and similar organizations, where required or permitted by law. For example, we may disclose your Information in connection with a subpoena or other legal process, in an audit, or when we record your mortgage or deed in the public records. Also, to represent your interest, or upon your consent, we may share your Information with third parties.
We only disclose your Information within the Firm, to Service Providers and third parties as allowed or required by law, to provide our services, or to obtain payment from you for the services we have provided. In real estate matters, we file certain real estate settlement documents with the appropriate recording office and provide closing documents to the seller of the property you are purchasing.
Disclosures About Confidentiality and Security
The security and confidentiality of your Information is very important to us. We take steps to safeguard it every day. We have physical and electronic safeguards, and company-wide policies and procedures, designed specifically to guard your Information against accidental disclosure. Our employees, agents, and service providers cannot use your Information for purposes other than those which we at Carlton Fields authorize. Access to your Information is restricted, and employees who fail to follow our policies and procedures are subject to disciplinary action.
So You Know…
We provide you with access to your Information in various ways, including on our invoices and in letters to you. If you note that the Information we have is incomplete, incorrect or not current, please call the attorney who serves as your primary contact with the firm. We will update or correct the error promptly.
* Information is defined as information which identifies you and which is not publicly available.