Collection of Personally Identifiable Information
We collect information verbally or by written correspondence, including in person, and/or by faxes, emails and telephone inquiries. Often personally identifiable information is collected directly from our clients. However, personally identifiable information may also be obtained from other sources in the course of our representation of our clients; for example, from:
- insurance companies;
- real estate agents or lenders in a property transaction;
- witnesses in litigation matters;
- other parties to a transaction, file, case, or matter, for which you have retained us;
- government agencies; and
- accountants and other advisors and consultants.
By retaining our firm, our clients consent to the collection of information about them that is useful for the purpose of our representation.
Use and Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information
CowanGates attorneys and their support staff, including law clerks, as well as the firm’s management and administrative staff, use personally identifiable information of clients for the purposes of our representation of our clients. Examples include, but are not limited to, providing legal and related services to individuals and corporations, administering client accounts, including time & billing practices, and contact information databases, performing conflict searches, enhancing our relationship with clients and, occasionally, providing updates which we believe to be of relevance to our clients. In addition, we may send you monthly newsletters, holiday cards and other greetings from the firm. If an individual is already a client of CowanGates, or has been in the past, we may, but are not required to, maintain their client information to facilitate the provision of ongoing services, or anticipated future service. Individuals may request that they not receive information about our services or about new developments in the law, and we will adjust our mailing lists accordingly. You may direct such requests to us by using the contact information below.
To the extent that you provide personally identifiable information of another individual to CowanGates, you represent that you have the necessary consent or authority to permit us to collect, use and disclose such personally identifiable information to CowanGates, but understand that CowanGates’ obligations hereunder and duties of confidentiality are limited to our clients only.
Safeguarding Your Personally Identifiable Information
CowanGates takes all reasonable precautions to ensure that our clients’ personally identifiable information is kept safe from loss or theft, unauthorized copying, use, access, modification or disclosure. While we take all reasonable and appropriate steps to safeguard our clients’ personally identifiable information under our control, there is an inherent risk involved in the exchange of information using any form of communication, such as email, U. S. mail, telephone, fax transmission and courier services. We assume no liability for any damages you may suffer as a result of interception, alteration or misuse of information during such transfers. In addition, email is often our preferred method of communication, and unless you object, we may use unencrypted emails when communicating with you. Likewise, where CowanGates discloses personally identifiable information of clients to third parties within the course and scope of our representation of the client or as is necessary to represent the client effectively (e.g., to a lender for real estate mortgage purposes, to another party during litigation, to accountants, advisors, and consultants) whether with your express consent or with your implied consent in light of the nature of our representation, we assume no liability for any damages you may suffer as a result of such third party’s actions or inactions including their failure to safeguard your information and/or their misuse of such information.
If you have any questions or concerns about CowanGates’ personally identifiable information management practices or about any personally identifiable information retained by CowanGates with respect to you, please contact us at:
P.O. Box 35655
Richmond, VA 23235-0655