This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
The adjective law is so closely connected with the substantive law that a statement of the effect of these different types of contract is in outward form almost exclusively a matter of procedure, though it affects the substantive rights of the parties. All the joint promisors are liable upon the joint contract,1 so that it has been held that a promise to release one on his paying his proportionate share of the debt is without consideration;2 all should be made defendants, and a judgment rendered against all,3 except such as cannot be served with process,4 and after such judgment has been obtained the plaintiff may issue execution against any of the defendants he chooses. If some of the joint obligors are insolvent the payee can enforce payment of the entire debt against those who are solvent.5 Secret arrangements made between the joint contractors cannot affect their liability to the promisee. Thus A, B and C signed a note and mortgage, joint in form, with the understanding that A should take and pay for two thirds of the property and B and C together the remaining one third. B and C were liable to the promisee for the entire debt.6
47; 23 Atl. 716; Monson v. Drake-ley, 40 Conn. 552; 16 Am. Rep. 74; Maiden v. Webster, 30 Ind. 317; Walford v. Bowen, 57 Minn. 267; 59 N. W. 195; Ladd v. Baker, 26 N. H. 76; 57 Am. Dec. 355; Wallace v. Jewell, 21 O. S. 163; 8 Am. Rep. 48; Arbuckle v. Templeton, 65 Vt. 205; 25 Atl. 1095; Keller v. Mc-Huffman, 15 W. Va. 64; Dill v. White, 52 Wis. 456; 9 N. W. 404; Dart v. Sherwood, 7 Wis. 523; 76 Am. Dec. 228.
5 Booth v. Huff, 116 Ga. 8; 94 Am. St. Rep. 98; 42 S. E. 381; Dow Law Bank v. Godfrey, 126 Mich.
521; 86 Am. St. Rep. 559; 85 N. W. 1075.
6 Brownell v. Winnie, 29 N. Y. 400; 86 Am. Dec. 314.
7 Wood v. Carter, - Neb. - ; 93 N. W. 158.
1 Holmes v. Sinclair, 19 111. 71; Whitmore v. Nickerson, 125 Mass. 496; 28 Am. Rep. 257.
1 Allin v. Shadburne, 1 Dana (Ky.) 68; 25 Am. Dec. 121; Green v. Rick, 121 Pa. St. 130; 6 Am. St. Rep. 670; 2 L. R. A. 48; 15 Atl. 497; Sully v. Campbell, 99 Tenn. 434; 43 L. R. A. 161; 42 S. W. 15; Camp v. Simon, 23 Utah 56; 63 Pac. 332.