A capable and multitalented litigator, Martin Côté’s practice focuses on civil, commercial and real estate litigation, as well as provisional measures (injunctions and seizures before judgment) and cases with international aspects raising questions on the applicable legislation, the jurisdiction of the courts and the enforcement of foreign decisions.
Mr. Côté is also committed to the future of RSS by sitting on the recruitment committee of the firm since 2012, after having been a member of our student and articling student committee from 2009 to 2011.
Defamation — Protection of reputation
Summary dismissal of a $325,000 claim filed by a teacher against his employer, John Abbott College. The plaintiff was alleging having been targeted by illegal disciplinary measures, defamation, discrimination and psychological harassment. The Court ruled that the plaintiff’s claims came within the exclusive jurisdiction of a grievance arbitrator.
Representing and advising numerous public personalities and politicians in defamation and libel suits and on crisis management.
Defending the mayor, a municipal councillor and the City of Westmount against a $300K defamation claim by a citizen. Claim summarily dismissed against the mayor and the city. Klepper c. Lulham, 2016 QCCS 5579, 2017 QCCA 2069.
Defending the City of Lachute and its mayor against a defamation claim for $850K by an accounting firm.
Defending the former mayor of the City of Lorraine against a defamation claim filed by a defeated candidate to the position of mayor.
Representing Pauline Marois, Quebec’s former Premier, in a defamation claim against a former member of the National Assembly and in the negotiation of a settlement.
Summary dismissal, before the Superior Court of Quebec, of a $250K defamation claim filed against a syndicate of co-ownership and some of its directors. Propri-Gestion Inc. c. Le Syndicat Projet Atwater (June 5, 2012), Montréal 500-17-056587-101 (Super. Ct.).
Representing a telecommunications provider before the Superior Court in litigation against a competitor over a contract for the sale of mobile telecommunications services.
Auditors’ professional liability
Representing investors or investment funds in claims for damages against auditors of companies defrauded by their senior executives.
Castor Holdings Ltd. case — Representing some 15 European investors whose claims total over $300M (principal and interest).
Channel Funds case — Representing the receiver and liquidators of various investment funds in a malpractice claim against auditors, and negotiating a settlement.
Lending and suretyship
Representing the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC — the Quebec government’s film and cultural enterprise financing board) in numerous judicial claims for amounts owing to SODEC under loans and suretyships. See for instance Artplus Film TV Production (AFTP) inc. c. Société de développement des entreprises culturelles, 2014 QCCA 2264.
Representing the Pizza Pizza Ltd. restaurant chain in proceedings that compelled the City of Brossard to issue a renovation permit towards the opening of a restaurant, despite the enactment of a zoning by-law prohibiting that activity in the area where the client was looking to do business. Pizza-Pizza Ltd. c. Brossard (Ville de), 2016 QCCS 820.
Representing and defending, both at trial and on appeal, a major hotel owner and operator in judicial proceedings launched by certain co-owners of a residential and commercial building, challenging that owner’s voting rights at the co-owners’ general assembly. See for instance 9090-2107 Québec inc. c. Messier, 2012 QCCA 521.
Representation before the Superior Court and the Court of Appeal of the former owner of the Montreal Forum in a claim for amounts owing under the Pepsi Forum name sponsorship agreement. Forum Entertainment Center Company c. Pepsi Bottling Group (Canada) Co., 2010 QCCA 1652.
Representing the lessor of industrial premises in damage claims against tenants and their suretyships, following the tenants’ failure to pay rent and vacating the premises prematurely before the expiry of their lease. 154766 Canada inc. c. Stuart B. Millner & Associates Canada Inc., 2010 QCCS 5123 and 154766 Canada inc. c. 7151934 Canada inc., 2010 QCCS 2548.
Representing and defending the interests of commercial lessees, such as Canada Post, in litigations involving their leases.
Advising and representing a landlord with over 700 apartments in residential leasing matters.
Personal injury claims
Representing and defending the interests of Canada Post in personal injury claims.
Defending a manufacturer of expansion joints against a claim for damages from a water leak allegedly caused by a defective joint made by our client; claim dismissed.
Bankruptcy and insolvency
Representing and defending the rights of a dozen creditors in the bankruptcy of Castor Holdings Ltd. whose claims total approximately $100M.
Private international law
Representation at trial and before the Court of Appeal of a Californian film distributor who successfully challenged the Quebec courts’ jurisdiction following a claim for royalties by the mortgagor of a Quebec film production company. PS Here, LLC. c. Fortalis Anstalt, 2009 QCCA 538.
Defending a foreign bank against a cross-border claim for over $11M arising out of international consumer transactions involving credit cards.
Injunction and contempt of court
Bellemare c. Abaziou case (2003 to 2009) — Representing individuals and corporations in numerous judicial applications for injunctions and declarations of contempt launched to protect their privacy and force the end of a harassment campaign against them.
Constitutional law and judges’ compensation
Representing the Government of Quebec in numerous judicial proceedings related to the compensation of judges of the Court of Quebec and municipal courts (2003–2007).
Publications and Conferences
Poursuites-bâillons : où en sommes-nous dix ans après l’entrée en vigueur des dispositions du Code de procédure civile visant à contrer de telles poursuites ? (“Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation: Where do we stand ten years after the coming into force of the provisions in the Code of Civil Procedure preventing such lawsuits?”), Quebec Bar webinar approved for its continuing education program, January 15, 2019
L’abus de procédure et les poursuites-bâillons, RSS in-house training approved for the Quebec Bar’s continuing education program, September 27 and October 11, 2017
Compétence internationale des tribunaux québécois dans le cadre des actions personnelles à caractère patrimonial (article 3148 C.c.Q.) — Les tribunaux québécois sont-ils trop compétents?, RSS in-house training approved for the Quebec Bar’s continuing education program, February 22 and 29, 2012
La copropriété divise, RSS in-house training approved for the Quebec Bar’s continuing education program, October 12 and 26, 2011
La requête pour faire déclarer un plaideur quérulent : mesure de dernier recours pour assurer le respect de l’administration de la justice, lecturer for continuing education training program of the Canadian Bar Association — Quebec Branch’s Insurance and Civil Litigation Section, October 25, 2010
Quérulence et outrage au tribunal, RSS in-house training approved for the Quebec Bar’s continuing education program, September 16 and 23, 2009
CPE Ste-Justine: director (2015–2016)
Camps Odyssée inc. (previously known as Camp-École Trois-Saumons): active member (2005–); director (2008–2015); member of the organizing committee of benefits for the Fondation des Camps Odyssée (2014, 2019)
Éducaloi: workshop volunteer (2015, 2017)
Director of a co-owners’ syndicate (2005–2011)
Bachelor of Civil Law, University of Montréal
Bachelor of Communication, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)
Call to Bar