Real estate buyers and sellers can end escrow deposit disputes quickly and easily by using  alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Whether you choose arbitration or mediation, sessions are conducted by neutral, unbiased legal professionals knowledgeable in real estate, who produce fair and just resolutions.

This process is much faster than going through the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) and less costly than going to court.

If you have a real estate dispute and don’t want your money sitting in an escrow account for months or years, or worse, all going to attorney’s fees, while the escrow dispute drags on through the slow process of the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) or the state courts, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is for you. (Of course, no one can guarantee the outcome of any given case.)

We offer two options to help you solve your escrow dispute: arbitration or mediation, you choose the method you prefer.


An arbitrator acts like judge, hearing both sides of the case in an informal hearing and issues a binding, fair judgment. Unlike the tedious and lengthy process of referring the case to the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) or to state court, this hearing typically lasts only a few hours. It can be scheduled immediately, with binding decisions fully resolving the dispute issued within a week.

Arbitrators are not bound by the technicalities of the law, so they can look beyond he law if necessary to what is just. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle believed arbitration was a fairer way to resolve a dispute than a courthouse.


A mediator sits down with both sides to help everyone come to a voluntary resolution of the dispute. Sometimes people in a disagreement just need a neutral party to help them reach a resolution that satisfies everyone.  A mediator assists the parties in negotiating a voluntary settlement, which is then formalized into a written and binding agreement.

Mediation has grown tremendously in the past decade as a means of resolving disputes, because agreements reached voluntarily by both parties are satisfying and more likely to be honored by everyone involved. Mediation creates a win/win situation where everyone can feel good about the results.

Whether you choose arbitration or mediation, both parties in the dispute share equally in the cost. Fees are affordable and much lower than the cost of going to court. They are normally paid in advance of the hearing.

Gary M. Landau is an experienced arbitrator and certified mediator, and has a great deal of experience helping parties resolve their escrow, landlord/tenant and other real estate disputes.

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