American Arbitration Association and Insurance Commissioner Jim
Recognize Calcasieu Parish for Support of Louisiana Hurricane
LAKE CHARLES, January 29, 2007 - William K. Slate II, president and chief executive
officer of the American Arbitration Association® (AAA), will present the AAA's
Distinguished Public Service Award to Chris Landry, president of the Calcasieu Parish
Police Jury, tomorrow, January 30, at 10 a.m., in the Police Jury meeting room located
on the 1st floor of 1015 Pithon in Lake Charles. Calcasieu Parish is being awarded
for the contribution of meeting space being used for the Louisiana Hurricane Mediation
Program. Warren Byrd, executive counsel for the Louisiana Department of Insurance,
will represent Commissioner Jim Donelon at the ceremony. The media is invited to
Facility space of three rooms is being utilized by mediators, Lake Charles area
insurance policyholders and insurance representatives. To date, 10,107 cases have
been filed statewide with a settlement rate of 75 percent.
"We are delighted to recognize Calcasieu Parish for their assistance in securing
mediation conference rooms for the Louisiana Hurricane Mediation Program,"
said William Slate. "The use of the parish's available space eliminated a significant
challenge to the success of the program, enabling thousands of Louisiana residents
to resolve their homeowners insurance disputes and begin to rebuild their lives."
Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon was the chief author of the Louisiana mediation
program established in February 2006 for policyholders with disputed homeowners
insurance claims following Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. The program was designed
and continues to serve as a non-adversarial, non-binding alternative to litigation,
to facilitate the resolution of homeowners insurance disputes as quickly and as
fairly as possible.
As chief legal counsel for the Department of Insurance at the time, Commissioner
Donelon said, "I investigated at length any and all additional initiatives
that might have assisted our homeowners. I am very proud of what AAA's mediation
program has accomplished for our policyholders and commend Calcasieu Parish for
facilities available at a time when usable space was so difficult to find."
"The Police Jury is pleased to have provided meeting space to assist the AAA
in resolving homeowners insurance disputes," said Chris Landry, president of
the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury. "This arrangement was critical to ensure
speedy resolutions to cases and proved extremely beneficial to the citizens of Calcasieu
Parish and the AAA."
About the American Arbitration Association
The global leader in conflict management since 1926, the American Arbitration Association
is a not-for-profit, public service organization committed to the resolution of
disputes through the use of arbitration, mediation, conciliation, negotiation, democratic
elections and other voluntary procedures. In 2006, more than 137,000 cases were
filed with the Association in a full range of matters including commercial, construction,
labor, employment, insurance, international and claims program disputes. Through
29 offices in the United States, Ireland and Mexico, the AAA provides a forum for
the hearing of disputes, rules and procedures and a roster of impartial experts
to resolve cases. Find more information online at www.adr.org.