“Every year, more than 300,000 farm workers are poisoned by the food you eat. Welcome to Death Valley.”

For more than 35 years, a poster bearing that haunting statistic has hung on Raymond Boucher’s office wall. Boucher was given the poster after one of his first landmark victories as a lawyer – a case he litigated on behalf of the family of a farm worker who was poisoned by herbicides and denied humane treatment. The gift-giver was a former client who looped Boucher into the case: Cesar Chavez. A pretty good start to a career.

Since then, Boucher has won numerous historic cases in a variety of sectors, all with the same aim: giving a voice to those who would otherwise be voiceless. His clients range from farm workers denied basic rights, to employees whose companies have attempted to silence them, to children who have been sexually abused. In every case, it’s the lack of humanity that stuns and motivates Boucher. The question he asks himself continues to be, “How does this happen?”

Boucher is perhaps most well-known for his work taking on the Catholic Church in cases related to its child sexual abuse scandals. In two landmark cases, he alleged that the Church systematically hid sexually abusive priests and knowingly allowed the abuses to continue. Boucher was the lead attorney in a significant sexual abuse settlement culminating with the 2007 settlement with the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, that involved several hundred survivors of childhood sexual abuse and recovered $660M. In a similar litigation, 144 victims in a case against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, lead to a $220M settlement. Outside of the dollar amount, these cases raised international awareness for the abuses his clients, and many others, suffered at the hands of abusive priests and altered the perception of the Catholic Church. Read More Here