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Evanston Ins. Co. v. Dillard Dept. Stores Inc., No. 09-20261

By FindLaw Staff on March 31, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Evanston Ins. Co. v. Dillard Dept. Stores Inc., No. 09-20261, concerned defendants' appeal from the district court's summary judgment order holding them personally liable to plaintiff for a judgment originally entered against their law firm partnership.  The court of appeals affirmed, holding that 1) the Texas Revised Partnership Act imposed joint and several liability on individual partners for all debts and obligations of a partnership, and no exception applied here; and 2) because plaintiff filed its third-party complaint within the four-year Texas statute of limitations for collecting a debt, its claim was timely.

As the court wrote:  "Damon Chargois and Cletus Ernster formed a law partnership in 2002. They registered it as a limited liability partnership, known as Chargois & Ernster, L.L.P. (CELLP), with the State of Texas in 2002. CELLP prosecuted lawsuits against Dillard Department Stores, Inc. (Dillard's), alleging that Dillard's racially discriminated against its customers. In an attempt to solicit business, CELLP developed a website in June 2003 which included a link using the "Dillard's" name and logo. Clicking this link took visitors to, a separate website documenting acts of alleged racial profiling by the department stores."

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