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  3. Robert J. Lightfoot

Bob views his health care practice through the ultimate big-picture lens: it’s about helping his clients deliver the highest quality of care and quality of life to the community’s most vulnerable citizens. The weight of that responsibility inspires him to draw upon his empathy, experience and tenacious problem-solving skills to ensure his clients achieve the best possible outcomes. As a shareholder and chair of Reinhart’s Health Care Practice and its Long Term Care, Assisted Living and Senior Independent Housing Services Group, Bob is dedicated to the clients and individuals he serves.

Bob has extensive experience representing the owners and operators of nursing homes and assisted living facilities on operational, regulatory and employment matters, as well as buying, selling and licensing these entities, survey and certification, audits, risk management and HIPAA compliance. He also counsels licensed health care professionals before the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services on personal licensing issues. Bob has a wealth of experience with state and federal agencies, including the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the State and Federal Office of the Inspector General.

He is an insightful and creative trouble-shooter, committed to understanding his clients’ business goals. Bob is widely recognized as an authority in his field and has established strong, professional relationships with governmental regulators. He serves as legal counsel to both the Wisconsin Assisted Living Association and LeadingAge Wisconsin, where he is a member of that organization’s national Legal Committee. Bob is also a licensed Registered Nurse, giving him a practical perspective in appreciating both the legal and clinical aspects of health care-related issues.

Bob is a frequent presenter for several organizations, including the Wisconsin Assisted Living Association, LeadingAge Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services FOCUS Conference and the Wisconsin Director of Nursing Council. He has been a presenter for Argentum, the American Health Law Association, Wisconsin Health Care Association, Wisconsin Personal Services Association, Wisconsin Department of Justice, State Bar of Wisconsin Health Law Section and Iowa Assisted Living Association.

Bob is a musician with his own classic rock and jazz bands and also fills in on bass with Madison area big bands.


  • J.D., Hamline University School of Law
  • B.S., Middle Tennessee State University
  • Diploma, St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing

Bar Admissions



  • Successfully defended numerous assisted living and nursing home facilities on appeal regarding regulatory violations and license revocations
  • Successfully assisted national nursing home and assisted living companies in Change of Ownership (CHOW) transactions and licensing
  • Appointed to serve on a Special Legislative Committee on Legal Interventions for Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias
  • Obtained a six-figure reduction in fines for a Wisconsin nursing home
  • Advocated for pro-assisted living legislation to members of Congress
  • Obtained favorable resolutions for nurses, physicians and other health care professionals faced with discipline or loss of professional license by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

Honors & Affiliations


  • Best Lawyers' “Lawyer of the Year” (2024)
  • Best Lawyers in America - Elder Law; Health Care Law (since 2010)
  • Best Lawyers' Health Care Law "Lawyer of the Year" (2024, 2021, 2019, 2012)
  • Madison Magazine Top Health Care Lawyers in Dane County (2009, 2007)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated
  • Dehn-Medico Legal Fellow at the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wisconsin, 1993
  • Featured in “Men in Nursing” publication, February 2007, Volume 2 Number 1
  • State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors (2003-2006)
  • State Bar of Wisconsin Health Law Section, and past member of the Health Law Section Board
  • LeadingAge Wisconsin advisor to Board of Directors
  • Wisconsin Assisted Living Association, Past-President and Board Chair (2008-2010); Board of Directors (2002-present); Legislative Committee Co-Chair
  • American Health Law Association (Long Term Care section)
  • Madison Wheelchair Recycling Program (former Board member)
  • Verona Knights of Columbus
  • Verona Chamber of Commerce

News & Insights


  • "A Legal Perspective of a Financial Issue," LeadingAge Wisconsin, October 2023.
  • "Growing Our Legal Finesse in Assisted Living," LeadingAge Wisconsin, October 2023.
  • "Difficult Discharges from Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facilities," American Health Law Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, June 26, 2023
  • “An Overview of Assisted Living Facility Purchase and Sale Transactions From Start to Finish,” WALA Spring Conference, March 9, 2023
  • "Confronting and Resolving Difficult Problems Associated with Involuntary Resident Discharges from Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing Facilities," AHLA Long Term and Post-Acute Care Law and Compliance Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA (March 2023)
  • “Nursing Delegation: Making it Work for Your Community,” Wisconsin Department of Health Services FOCUS Conference, November 16, 2022
  • “Defensive Documentation,” WALA Fall Conference, September 2022
  • “An Unfortunate Last Resort for AL Discharges: Eviction,” LeadingAge Wisconsin, September 2022
  • “Driving Forward: Legal Update for Skilled Nursing Facilities,” LeadingAge Wisconsin, May 2022
  • “Driving Forward: Legal Update for Assisted Living,” LeadingAge Wisconsin, May 2022
  • “Addressing Workplace Misconduct,” WALA Spring Conference, March 24, 2022
  • “Ask a Nurse,” panel presenter, WALA Spring Conference, March 23, 2022
  • “Buying and Selling Assisted Living Facilities,” WALA Spring Conference, March 23, 2022
  • “COVID-19 – Current Guidance for Wisconsin Nursing Homes,” co-presenter, LeadingAge Wisconsin, June 2020
  • “COVID-19 – Current Guidance for Wisconsin Assisted Living Facilities,” LeadingAge Wisconsin, June 2020
  • “Resident’s Rights vs Safety of Others: A Case Study of an Assisted Living Resident’s Right Not to Be Filmed Without Consent and the Rights of Others to be Safe,” Argentum Annual Conference, Denver, CO (May 2016)
  • “The Importance of a Properly Structured QA to Investigations,” WALA Annual Conference, Wisconsin Dells, WI (March 2016)
  • “RN Delegation in Assisted Living,” WALA Annual Conference, Wisconsin Dells, WI (March 2016)
  • “Filming an Agitated Combative Resident of Assisted Living – Resident Right of Privacy vs Right of Others to Be Safe,” AHLA Long Term Care and the Law Annual Conference, Orlando, FL (February 2016)


  • "Reinhart Boerner Names New Health Care Practice Leader" quoted, Law 360 Pulse, July 7, 2023
  • Annual Updates Author and author of the assisted living section, Advising Older Clients and Their Families, Chapter 18: Long-Term Care Facilities: Regulation, published by the State Bar of Wisconsin
  • “Nurse Delegation in Long Term Care and Assisted Living” published in Long Term Living, November 2011
  • Numerous articles for “The Advocate,” the newsletter of the Wisconsin Assisted Living Association
  • “Clinical Care Documentation: Delivering Detailed, Resident-Focused Services” published in the Senior Living Executive, f/k/a the Assisted Living Executive, May/June 2009
  • “Butcher v. Fashingbauer: The Case for a Surrogate Decision Maker Statute in Minnesota,” Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy, Vol. 16, Issue 1 (Fall 1994), pp. 231-268