Martin Côté

Lawyer, Partner


English, French





Martin Côté is a partner in our Civil and Commercial Litigation Group. His practice focuses primarily on civil, commercial and real estate litigation, as well as provisional measures such as injunctions. He is also often involved in cases with international aspects, raising questions on the applicable legislation, the jurisdiction of the courts, and the enforcement of foreign decisions.

Martin is committed to the future of RSS as a member of the Management Committee, after having been a member of our Student & Articling Student Committee, and Recruitment Committee.

Representative files and mandates

Defamation — Reputation Protection

  • Defending the McGill University Student Society against a $1 million defamation claim by a student.
  • Summary dismissal of a $325,000 claim filed by a teacher against their 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 businesses, as well as public personalities and politicians, in defamation and libel suits and on crisis management.
  • Klepper c. Lulham, 2016 QCCS 5579, 2017 QCCA 2069 — Defending the mayor, a municipal councillor, and the City of Westmount against a $300K defamation claim by a citizen. The claim against the mayor and the city was summarily dismissed.
  • 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 for 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.
  • Propri-Gestion Inc. c. Le Syndicat Projet Atwater (June 5, 2012), Montréal 500-17-056587-101 (Super. Ct.) — 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.

Judicial Review

Defending the interests of Université de Montréal and of Université du Québec à Montréal in judicial reviews of decisions regarding academic and disciplinary matters.

Real Estate

  • Representing and defending the interests of Université du Québec à Montréal in real estate leasing, real estate law and municipal taxation.
  • Pizza-Pizza Ltd. c. Brossard (Ville de), 2016 QCCS 820 — 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 in question.
  • Representing and defending a major hotel owner and operator, both at trial and on appeal, in judicial proceedings launched by certain co-owners of a residential and commercial building, challenging owner’s voting rights at the co-owners’ general assembly. See for instance 9090-2107 Québec inc. c. Messier, 2012 QCCA 521.
  • Forum Entertainment Center Company c. Pepsi Bottling Group (Canada) Co., 2010 QCCA 1652 — Representing the former owner of the Montreal Forum before the Superior Court and the Court of Appeal in a claim for amounts owing under the Pepsi Forum name sponsorship agreement.
  • 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 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.
  • Representing and defending the interests of commercial lessees, such as Canada Post, in litigation involving their leases.
  • Advising and representing a landlord with over 700 apartments in residential leasing matters.

Cybersecurity and Telecommunications

  • Defending a web hosting company unjustly accused of hacking a competitor’s servers and destroying third-party information located there.
  • 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 totalled 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.

Personal Injury Claims

Representing and defending the interests of Canada Post in personal injury claims.

Private International Law

  • PS Here, LLC. c. Fortalis Anstalt, 2009 QCCA 538 — Representing a Californian film distributor at trial and before the Court of Appeal, who successfully challenged the Quebec courts’ jurisdiction following a claim for royalties by the mortgagor of a Quebec film production company.
  • Defending a foreign bank against a cross-border claim for over $11 million 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.


  • Listed in the Best Lawyers in Canada directory under Commercial and Corporate Litigation since 2022
  • Named a Thomson Reuters Stand-out Lawyer since 2021


Defamation on Social Media: Be Careful What You Post Online!

14 May 2020

Much of our communication with one another has been taking place on social media. Networks such as Facebook and Instagram provide an unbeatable platform for making ourselves heard. Think twice before you criticize or complain online because your rant on social media could make you liable for defamation. In Ville de Longueuil c. Théodore, 2020 […]

All You Need to Know About COVID-19 and Residential Leases

10 April 2020

Designated as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, and triggering the declaration of a health emergency in Quebec two days later, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all segments of society. When it comes to matters of residential leasing, there are many adjustments to be made by both landlords and […]

New Legislative Provisions on Insurance and Condominiums

24 April 2019

On December 13, 2018, new provisions in the Civil Code of Québec relating to insurance and divided co-ownership came into effect. Several new rules have been introduced. Click here to read more (PDF).

Publications and Conferences

  • “Tout ce que vous devez savoir relativement au secret professionnel de l’avocat en entreprise et au privilège relatif au litige”, continuing education webinar presented by the Quebec Bar, 2020, 2022 and 2023
  • “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 ?”, continuing education conference presented by the Quebec Bar as part of the Grands rendez-vous de la formation, February 13, 2020; update of a 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 the Canadian Bar Association’s continuing education training program — 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

Community Involvement

  • Fondation des Camps Odyssée:
    • Chair of the Board (2020–present)
    • Director (2019–present)
    • Member of the organizing committee for charity events (2014, 2019–2023)
  • Fondation Villa Ste-Marcelline: Director (2019–2023)
  • CPE Ste-Justine: Director (2015–2016)
  • Camps Odyssée inc.:
    • Active member (2005­–present)
    • Director (2008–2015)
  • Éducaloi: workshop volunteer (2015, 2017)
  • Director of a co-owners’ syndicate (2005–2011)


Bachelor of Civil Law (B.C.L.)

Université de Montréal

Bachelor of Communication

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)

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