James P. Connelly

Retired Partner


James P. Connelly is a retired partner at Foley & Lardner LLP. He served as founding chair of the firm’s Health Law Department, and was a member of the Health Care Industry Team. He advised health systems, hospitals, academic medical centers, medical clinics, physicians, health insurers, and other health care organizations on matters of strategic planning, corporate structure, affiliation and organization, financing, operations and management, technology, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and affiliations.

Mr. Connelly has served as lead counsel and strategist in the development of the Aurora Health Care System, a nonprofit health care system with annual revenues in excess of $3 billion and serving more than two million individuals residing throughout eastern Wisconsin. Aurora is a fully integrated health system consisting of 16 hospitals, 1100 employed physicians, 4200 affiliated physicians, an extensive teaching and clinical relationship with the University of Wisconsin Medical School, an extensive home health care network, its own laboratory company, and various other owned and affiliated organizations.

Mr. Connelly has also worked extensively with significant national physicians organizations in their strategic planning matters and market positioning, including serving as general counsel to the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), and special counsel to the American Medical Association (AMA) and major multi-specialty clinics. He has had substantial experience in counseling physicians and physician organizations involved in academic medical center settings and relationships.

Selected as a White House fellow by President Gerald R. Ford, Mr. Connelly also subsequently served as special assistant to Treasury Secretary William E. Simon. As part of his Treasury responsibilities, he represented the Ford Administration in matters affecting the potential bankruptcy of New York City and in the passage of federal legislation relating to the regulation of financial institutions.

A member of the American Health Lawyers Association and the Health Law Section of the American Bar Association, Mr. Connelly also is past president of the Health Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin. He currently serves as an officer and director of 12 business corporations and five nonprofit community organizations.

Mr. Connelly is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., with distinction, 1972), where he was editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal, and of Marquette University (B.A., with honors, 1969). He was admitted to the Wisconsin Bar in 1972.

Mr. Connelly has been Peer Review Rated as AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell's peer review rating system and is listed in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. He has also been named one of the nation’s "Top Health Care Attorneys" by Nightingale's Healthcare News, and was recently designated as a lifetime "Leader in the Law" by the Wisconsin Law Journal. Mr. Connelly was selected for inclusion in the 2010 Wisconsin Super Lawyers® list.