FIRM. The persons composing a partnership, taken collectively, are called the firm. Sometimes this word is used synonymously with partnership.

2. The name of a firm should be distinct from the names of all other firms. When there is a confusion in this respect, the partners composing one firm May, in some cases, be made responsible for the debts of another. For example, where three persons carried on a trade under the firm of King and Company, and two of those persons, with another, under the same firm, carried on another partnership; a bill under the firm, and which was drawn on account of the one partnership, was made the ground of an action of assumpsit against the other. Lord Kenyon was of opinion that this company was liable; that the partner not connected with the company that drew the bill, having traded along with the other partner under that firm, persons taking bills under it, thougb without his knowledge, had a right to look to him for payment. Peake's N. P. Cas. 80; and see 7 East, R. 210; 2 Bell's Com. 670, 6th ed.; 3 Mart. N. S. 39. But it would seem, 1st. That any act distinctly indicating credit to be given to one of the partnerships, will fix the election of the creditor to that company; and 2d. That making a claim on either of the firms, or, when they are insolvent, on either of the estates, will have the same effect.

3. When the style of the firm has been agreed upon, for example, John Doe and Company, the partners who sign the name of the firm are required to use such name in the style adopted, and a departure from it may have the double effect of rendering the individual partner who signs it, personally liable not only to third persons, but to his co-partners; Story, Partn. §102, 202 and it will be a breach of the agreement, if the partner sign his own name, and add, "for himself and partners." Colly. Partn. B. 2, c. 2, §2; 2 Jac. & Walk. 266.

4. As a general rule a firm will be bound by the acts of one of the partners in the course of their trade and business, and will be discharged by transactions with a single partner. For example, the payment or satisfaction of a debt by a partner, is a satisfaction and payment by them all; and a release to one partner, is in release to them all. Go. Litt. 232 n; 6 T. R. 525. Vide Partner; Partnership.

5. It not unfrequently happens that the name of the firm is the name of only one of the partners, and that such partner does business in his own name on his private or separate account. In such case, if the contract be entered into for the firm, and there is express or implied proof of that fact, the partnership will be bound by it; but when there is no such proof, the presumption will be that the debt was contracted by the partner on his own separate account, and the firm will not be responsible. Story on Part. §139; Colly. on Partn. Book 3, c. 1, §2; 17 Serg. & Rawle, 165; 5 Mason, 176; 5 Peters, 529; 9 Pick. 274; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1442, et seq.