CLM Voices: Getting to Know Dale Sherman

An Allstate "lifer" talks claims defense litigation

September 18, 2020 Photo

An Allstate “lifer” for 25 years and counting, see how Dale Sherman leads the claim litigation practice group, investigative services, and nationwide defense for his company. 

In His Father’s Footsteps      

Sherman says his father was a proud Allstate agent for 41 years—“he started as one of those guys who worked under the escalator at Sears.” So when the younger Sherman graduated law school and wanted to do trial work, he asked his father who defended his customers if they got sued. Armed with his answer, Sherman sought a staff counsel position at Allstate, where he got to try cases immediately.

Making a Mentor

“Being a mentor means reflecting on your leadership style, philosophy, and experiences, then translating those into digestible pieces of advice.”  Sherman, explaining why he benefits from being a mentor as much as he hopes his mentees do. 

Allstate for Life

Sherman is the rare professional who has worked for one company his entire career, but he says it might not be for everyone. He says changing employers every few years can mean larger pay increases, but the absence of deep roots can have diminishing returns over time. If a healthy work-life balance matters most, he says a long corporate career might be the right choice.

COVID-19 Challenges

“The toughest part of COVID-19 is not being able to spontaneously engage with co-workers, both on my teams and across the company.”  Sherman, explaining why he schedules check-ins with people to maintain relationships. 

Outside Help

As a threshold, Sherman says all firms retained for litigation must share the values of his company. Additionally, he looks for five qualities: consistently excellent results; deep subject matter expertise; practical, actionable advice; responsiveness; and reasonable billing. He also watches litigation velocity—getting the case to the optimal result faster than both the competition and the average time frame for the market.

Mental Workout

I love the discipline it requires and the time for introspection I get in the solitude of my gym.”  Sherman, on his passion for lifting weights, which is only matched by his love of rock music.


About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is vice president of content at the CLM, and serves as executive editor of CLM magazine, the flagship publication of the CLM.

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