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Baker Donelson Further Expands Insurance Regulatory Practice


(Jackson, MS/April 23, 2009) Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, is pleased to announce that former Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale has joined the Firm, expanding Baker Donelson's Insurance Regulatory Group. Mr. Dale, who joins as a senior public policy advisor, is based in the Firm's Jackson office.

Mr. Dale served for 32 years as Commissioner with the Mississippi Insurance Department (MID). Elected to the position in 1975, he was the youngest Insurance Commissioner in Mississippi history and is also considered the longest serving, elected Insurance Commissioner in United States history.

During Mr. Dale's tenure, and under his leadership, the MID achieved its financial accreditation from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) – a designation it still holds. Mr. Dale shepherded Mississippi through eight hurricanes, including Hurricane Katrina, and was directly involved in the investigation of Martin Frankel in one of the largest insurance company frauds ever discovered. He also oversaw the enactment and implementation of the Rural Fire Truck Acquisition Act, resulting in 502 new fire trucks for Mississippi communities, which led to more affordable fire insurance in rural areas. Mr. Dale holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Mississippi College.

"As the longest serving, elected insurance commissioner, George brings extensive knowledge of the insurance industry and adds to the outstanding substantive experience of our Insurance Regulatory Service Team," said Alan Moore, leader of the Firm's Insurance Regulatory Group. "He is the latest addition to a stellar team that has seen significant growth this year with the recent additions of Lee Harrell and Melissa Hull." Mr. Harrell served as Deputy Commissioner and Special Counsel to the MID. Ms. Hull was counsel for the South Central Region at Nationwide and also served as Assistant Director, Marketing Regulation and Licensing, Ohio Department of Insurance.

Baker Donelson's Insurance Regulatory Group includes former senior regulators with more than 60 years of combined experience in state insurance departments, former in-house legal counsel, and seasoned attorneys who have spent decades representing the insurance industry in regulatory and legal matters. With extensive experience on all sides of the regulatory equation, members of the group assist clients in facing a full range of insurance regulatory and legal challenges, including administrative actions, mediations and litigation; fraud and white collar crime; industry and trade association support; insolvency matters and asset recoveries; licensing and compliance; lobbying and public policy initiatives; organizational and transactional matters; and privacy, data security and document management. More information is available on the Firm's website at

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Johanna Burkett
T: 901.577.2201
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