Direct line from Montréal:
T 514 393-7447
F 514 878-1865
Marcel-Olivier has been head of RSS’s Saguenay office since its opening in 2016. He is a litigator whose practice focuses on construction law, civil and commercial litigation, and insurance law. He regularly appears before the courts of Quebec, including the Court of Appeal.
His construction law practice involves representing major businesses from the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean area and elsewhere in Quebec, as well as government agencies and municipalities. He also appears in numerous contract claims matters.
Marcel-Olivier’s practice also includes general tort law, professional responsibility and the liability of municipalities and school boards. He is also highly skilled with civil rights and freedoms, having defended employers and government agencies against individual claims or in litigation launched by the Quebec Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse (Human rights and youth rights commission) or the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Thus, he appeared before the Tribunal des droits de la personne and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.
In his insurance law practice, Marcel-Olivier advises Canadian and foreign insurers on the scope of coverage offered by Commercial General Liability (CGL) policies. He also has exceptional experience with fraudulent claims: he leads these cases through all the steps, from the initial analysis to closing arguments.
Marcel-Olivier holds a degree in actuarial science, which gives him a unique perspective on the insurance industry.
In 2014, he took a leave of absence from the firm to pursue graduate studies in comparative private law at the University of Lausanne. During that time, he lectured on the characteristics of Quebec law at the University of Neuchâtel.
In June 2020, Marcel-Olivier was elected bâtonnier (Chair) of the Barreau du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, for a one-year term.
The following outlines of cases that he argued are a good example of his multifaceted experience as a litigator:
Bacon St-Onge c. Conseil des Innus de Pessamit, 2019 QCCS 5509 — Marcel-Olivier successfully defended the Conseil des Innus de Pessamit against a claim for libel and breach of a confidentiality agreement by one of its councillors following proceedings before federal instances regarding the annulment of elections.
Khazali (Succession de) c. CAPREIT (Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust) 2013 QCCS 1864 — Marcel-Olivier was acting for the defendant, a leading Montréal landlord in a claim arising from the collapse of an underground parking lot that killed a driver in his car. The claim was summarily denied since the cause of death was an accident under the Automobile Insurance Act, which bars civil lawsuits for bodily injuries caused by automobile accidents. The Court of Appeal summarily denied the appeal (2013 QCCA 1975), and the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the case (2014 CanLII 13645). Marcel-Olivier was lead counsel throughout the process.
Denial of insurance coverage
Després c. Aviva Canada inc., compagnie d’assurances du Canada, 2019 QCCS 724 — He represented the defendants / cross-plaintiffs following the dismissal of a claim for indemnity after a home fire. Discrepancies between the plaintiff / cross-defendant’s earlier statements and his testimony at trial, as well as painstaking preparation of the brokers’ examinations made the difference.
Corbeil c. Compagnie d’assurances Missisquoi, 2014 QCCQ 5973 — Marcel-Olivier was representing the defendant after it had denied a claim for indemnity arising from a vehicle theft. The Court came to the conclusion that the theft was a fabrication. Key steps in reaching this conclusion were the pre-trial examination, the careful investigation that allowed finding the plaintiff’s accomplice, and the plaintiff’s rigorous cross-examination.
Zurich, compagnie d’assurances du Canada et Service Louis Letarte Inc c. Centre du camion Beaudoin inc., 2013 QCCS 1985 — Subrogated claim arising from the theft of a truck, in which Marcel-Olivier was representing Zurich and its insured, a major carrier from the Drummondville region, as plaintiffs. The claim was based on the defendant’s breach of its storing obligations. Marcel-Olivier produced crucial admissions by an employee of the defendant. The Court allowed the claim.
Compagnie d’assurance Missisquoi c. Laval (Ville de), 2012 QCCQ 1202 — He successfully represented the plaintiff in a subrogation claim originating from damage caused to a truck in a quarry in Laval.
Cohen Stolovitsky c. Côte St-Luc (Ville de), 2013 QCCQ 2160 — He successfully represented the defendant against a claim for compensation for bodily injuries following a fall on a sidewalk.
Ceger inc. c. Tremblay Assurances ltée, 2017 QCCS 4251 — Marcel-Olivier successfully opposed an application for the communication of a claim adjuster’s report by raising the litigation privilege. He also convinced the court to strike down the defendants’ allegations discussing the report’s contents.
Listed in the 2022 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada under Insurance Law
Member of the Board of Directors, Bar of Quebec, 2021–
Bâtonnier (Chair), Barreau du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, 2020–2021
Treasurer, Barreau du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, 2018–2020
Councillor, Barreau du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, 2017–2018
Member, Association of the Alumni of the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (AiSDC)
Publications and Conferences
“Jurisprudence récente en droit des assurances du domaine de la construction”, online conference given in June 2021 at the seminar on recent developments in construction law hosted by professional quality service of the Bar of Quebec.
“L’administration de la preuve en matière d’incendie volontaire”, conference given in December 2019 at the annual seminar on recent developments in insurance law hosted by the professional quality service of the Bar of Quebec.
“Nouveautés jurisprudentielles en droit des assurances”, conference given in October 2019 (Montréal) and November 2019 (Québec) as part of the fourth edition of Les Éditions Yvon Blais’s Insurance Law Forum.
“Décisions récentes en responsabilité des intervenants de la construction et en droit des assurances de la construction”, lecture given in June 2019 at the annual training session offered by RSS’s Insurance Group, a programme accredited by Quebec’s Chambre de l’assurance de dommages and recognized by the Quebec Bar and by the Chambre des notaires.
“Développements récents en responsabilité civile”, lecture given in September 2017 at the annual conference of the Association des avocats et avocates de province, recognized as a continuing education activity by the Quebec Bar.
“Développements récents en responsabilité civile”, lecture given in June 2016 at the annual training session offered by RSS’s Insurance Group, a programme accredited by Quebec’s Chambre de l’assurance de dommages and recognized by the Quebec Bar and by the Chambre des notaires.
Director, Association des diplômés en droit de l’Université de Montréal (University of Montréal Faculty of Law Alumni Association)
Director, Séminaire de Chicoutimi
Chair, Équipe du renouveau démocratique (party of the Mayor of Saguenay, Josée Néron), 2018–2020
Chair, Association des étudiants en droit de l’Université de Montréal (University of Montréal Faculty of Law Students’ Association), 2008–2009
Master of law (LL.M.), University of Montréal, in progress
Master of law summa cum laude (MLaw), University of Lausanne, 2015
Bachelor of law (LL.B.), University of Montréal, 2009
Bachelor of actuarial science (B.Sc.), University of Montréal, 2007
Call to Bar