Robert Saner’s value to clients goes beyond in-depth knowledge of the law.

Rather, Bob’s clients appreciate his instinct for getting things done, whether on the Hill, at the agencies, or in the federal courts. A self-proclaimed “old fashioned Washington lawyer," Bob likes tough multidimensional problems and the process of finding workable solutions – whatever the substantive issues may be.

After law school, Bob served in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Executive Office of the President. The opportunity to work directly with members of the Executive and Legislative Branches, interest groups, the media, and other interested parties laid the groundwork for Bob’s attention to, and capacity for, diplomatic yet effective problem solving. Bob also credits several mentors for educating him on how things get done in Washington.

With a particular focus on policy issues whose solutions require the involvement of both the Executive and Legislative branches, Bob represents physician organizations, including professional societies, associations, medical groups, academic practices and integrated systems; municipal water utilities; and institutions of higher education. Believing that a client’s immediate problem is often indicative of a larger underlying challenge, Bob’s work for clients spans a wide range of legal disciplines and public policy terrain.

Bob writes and lectures on fraud and abuse, corporate compliance, physician self-referral, and Medicare reimbursement issues. He serves as counsel to The Commonwealth Medical College, Washington Counsel for the Medical Group Management Association, General Counsel of the National Organization on Disability, and General Counsel of the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. He was president of the Powers firm and chair of its Executive Committee from 2000 through April 2007.

Additionally, in his career, Bob has:

  • Served as lead counsel to The Commonwealth Medical College of Scranton, PA, one of the newest and most innovative medical schools in the United States. He lead a team of Powers lawyers assisting in all aspects of creating TCMC including incorporation, tax-exempt organization issues, governance, licensure and accreditation, financing and general corporate and contract advice to its Board of Trustees and management.
  • As Washington Counsel to the Pain Care Coalition, wrote the first comprehensive federal legislation addressing pain care research, education and quality care, and steered to passage on a bi-partisan basis the Veterans Pain Care Act, the Military Pain Care Act, and pain care provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
  • Helped represent the nation’s largest public water suppliers in the 1996 reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This public health statute ensures the quality of Americans' drinking water and is one of the last significant pieces of environmental legislation to move through Congress on a bi-partisan basis.
  • Created a tax-exempt, nonprofit, information sharing and analysis center (ISAC) on behalf of leaders in the water supply and wastewater communities after credible threats to the security of public water supplies. Created prior to 9/11, the Water ISAC was one of the first of its kind in the country, and has worked closely with USEPA, the Department of Homeland Security, and other government agencies to proactively protect water supplies and treatment, distribution and processing facilities.

Bob is particularly proud of his three decades of pro bono representation to the National Organization on Disability where he has had the opportunity to work with leaders from business, government, education, healthcare and the disability advocacy community on a wide array of programs and projects encouraging the full participation of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of American life, with a particular emphasis on employment.

Practice Areas


J.D., Harvard University, 1972

A.B., cum laude, Princeton University, 1969

Bar Memberships

District of Columbia

Honors & Awards

American Academy of Pain Medicine Patient Advocacy Award 2012

National Organization on Disability “Hat’s Off” Award

Repeated Recognition by Chambers USA as one of America’s Leading Health Lawyers

Memberships & Activities

Member, American Health Lawyers Association