Melvin J. Laney and Carolyn A. Laney - Page 28

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            section 7121 because there was a binding settlement agreement in                          
            the instant case.  We did not come away from this part of the                             
            case with the belief that we understand substantially everything                          
            that happened.  We do not understand how it came to be that                               
            petitioners’ letter to the Secretary of the Treasury elicited the                         
            response that there  was a binding settlement agreement.                                  
                  We have recently discussed the nature of, and requirements                          
            for, binding settlement agreements.  Dorchester Industries, Inc.                          
            v. Commissioner, 108 T.C. 320 (1997).  We have reexamined the                             
            record in the instant case; we conclude, and we have found, that                          
            petitioners and respondent did not have a binding settlement                              
            agreement, nor did they enter into a section 7121 agreement with                          
            respect to the instant case or any issue therein.                                         
                  Respondent’s significant concessions, whether by stipulation                        
            or unilateral, are limited as described supra note 2.  Those                              
            concessions will be given effect in the Rule 155 computation, but                         
            do not have the far-reaching effect that petitioners seek.                                
                  Because we conclude that there was not a settlement                                 
            agreement in the instant case, we do not need to consider, and we                         
            do not consider, whether any individuals with whom petitioners                            
            dealt had authority to enter into settlement agreements on behalf                         
            of respondent.                                                                            
                  We hold for respondent on this issue.                                               

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