No. 89-1546.

936 F.2d 173 (1991)

Barney L. BYRUM; Elizabeth Y. Byrum, et ux.; Barney L. Byrum, III; and Spencer N. Byrum, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. BEAR INVESTMENT COMPANY; Edward J. Whitlock, Partner; Robert A. Whitlock, Partner; Albert G. Johnson, Partner; W.W. Whitlock, Agent, Principal Officer W.W. Whitlock Agency, Inc., General Partner and Personally, Defendants-Appellants.

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Decided June 20, 1991.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Charles Roland Haugh, Charles R. Haugh, P.C., Charlottesville, Va., argued (Lair D. Haugh, Charles R. Haugh, P.C. Charlottesville, Va., on brief), for defendants-appellants.

J. Benjamin Dick, Law Offices of J. Benjamin Dick, Charlottesville, Va., for plaintiffs-appellees.

Before WIDENER and WILKINSON, Circuit Judges, and HILL, Senior United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit, sitting by designation.

WILKINSON, Circuit Judge:

This case raises questions about when enforceable settlement agreements have been formed. The district court concluded that Barney and Elizabeth Byrum had tendered a valid acceptance to Bear Investment Company's offer to settle their dispute over a parcel of land when the Byrums sent the company a check for the amount specified in the offer and a general release. Although the check sent by the Byrums contained the words "under protest" and...

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