Author Ray Bourhis

RayRay Bourhis is uniquely qualified to be a political pundit and an enemy of unbridled corporate and political corruption. A lawyer practicing out of San Francisco and Santa Barbara, California, Bourhis has been at the forefront of the battle against greed and excessive power for most of his life.

Bourhis grew up in the tough neighborhood of Elmhurst in Queens, New York. He credits an attempt by local street gang members to throw him, at the age of twelve, into a blazing bonfire with helping him develop the survival skills needed to spend his legal career taking on insurance companies.

Bourhis got his BA at Ohio State University. In his senior year, he created the University’s first mascot in eighty-five years with his then-girlfriend, Sally Lanyon. Ray and Sally launched the mascot, unannounced, onto the football field in the middle of the marching band’s homecoming half-time show. When he waddled off the field, 82,000 fans chanted, “We want the mascot! We want the mascot!” and the OSU icon, now known as Brutus Buckeye, was born.

After graduating from Ohio State, he took a job teaching in a rural high school in Appalachia, where he got fired for putting together a pilot project with Senator Robert Kennedy for students to work on Arizona Indian Reservations during the summer. Bourhis became one of Kennedy’s key staffers, working with the Senator on his presidential campaign.

He later joined the Domestic Peace Corps (VISTA) and was sent to California as a community organizer with farm workers.  Bourhis’ passion for fighting for the underdog ultimately led him to the UC Berkeley School of Law.  He was inspired by the justices then serving on the U.S. Supreme Court who bore little resemblance to those serving on the court today.  While at Berkeley he founded a student-funded public interest law firm that was promptly vetoed by the University Board of Regents. The firm later became known as CalPirg (California Public Interest Research Group).

Since law school Bourhis has specialized in representing policyholders in cases involving the wrongful denial of long-term disability (LTD) insurance claims. His firm has set legal precedents and obtained record verdicts and settlements in that field.

Just Released…

Billionaires and Bagmen – What Happens When a Small Town Takes Them On

coverfbBillionaires and Bagmen is the story of what happens when a few people in a small town decide that they have finally had enough.  Convinced that our system is no longer “of, by and for the people,” that all three branches of government are bought and paid for, and that reform efforts are a complete joke, they decide to do something about it.  Led by Sean Cogan, a prickly, funny, charismatic, economist turned venture capitalist, and a group of old high school friends, they decide to take on the powerful billionaires, corrupt multinational corporations and their bagmen: the politicians and lobbyists who carry out their agenda.

Cogan heads to Town Hall, plunks down $250 and registers an initiative for the November ballot for the town of Fairview to declare its independence from everybody.

Things quickly spin out of control.  Particularly when the powers that be in Washington become concerned that this independence movement could take on a life of its own.

Cogan and his gang plow ahead, in spite of the collusion of spies, lobbyists, a controversial talk show host and a whole boatload of other unsavory characters. It’s an exciting, scary and dangerous ride. The climate for real change ripens. But is it too late?

For more information please contact the publisher of Billionaires and Bagmen, Blue Point Books,, 805-682-8775

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Insult to Injury: Insurance, Fraud, and the Big Business of Bad Faith

insult_to_injury_bookHOMEIn Insult to Injury: Insurance, Fraud, and the Big Business of Bad Faith,  Bourhis uses the dramatic story of Joan Hangarter’s case-along with the cases of Susan McGregor, Stuart Gluck, Alan Gross, John Tedesco, Laura Hindiyeh, Eugene Molfino, and others-to show how insurance companies are getting away with denying valid claims, terminating benefits, and destroying lives. Bourhis shows how insurance companies put profit above the protection of those who diligently pay for their coverage month after month and year after year. Bourhis exposes the comprehensive systems insurance companies have for targeting and terminating expensive claims without just cause. He reveals the back-room strategic mindset that drives these illegal practices, how low-level employees are duped into unethical conduct, and how insurers manipulate data in the few cases that do go to trial. He also explains the key regulatory oversights that enable these kinds of practices to continue unchecked, and how recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and the inaction of the current majority in Congress actually facilitate insurer fraud.

Hangarter’s was not an isolated case, and her victory, while welcome, was singularly rare. Unfortunately for us all, as Ray Bourhis points out, this single victory was not enough to change the way these companies do business. To change this system, Bourhis closes Insult to Injury with a roadmap for reforming the insurance industry, so that cases like Joan’s become a thing of the past. He also makes the case against so-called “tort reform,” showing why it is actually a gift to the monied interests of large corporations and a threat to the legal rights of us all.

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The Autobiography of Brutus Buckeye – As Told to His Parents Sally Lanyon and Ray Bourhis

Brutus_cover_smallBrutus Buckeye Tells All! On the occasion of his fiftieth birthday, Brutus Buckeye finally tells his life story! While Ohio State fans today can hardly imagine a time without the inexhaustible Brutus, there was a time—a long time—when Ohio State had no mascot at all. But then, in 1965, two students, certain that their team deserved a champion at the sidelines, conceived of the loveable nut we now know as Brutus Buckeye.

In The Autobiography of Brutus Buckeye: As Told to His Parents, Sally Lanyon and Ray Bourhis, we get to hear the whole story—the first game, the trials of the early years, the many reinventions and makeovers, the encounters with That Team Up North, and so much more.


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Soon To Be Released…

Preemption: A License to Steal Your Medical/LTD Benefits

PREEMPTION-FINAL-August2014“ERISA Preemption”  is a shorthand way of saying: The Supreme Court has given insurance companies a license to steal. From you. Immunizing them from legal action, even for the most outrageous claims denials imaginable.

Believe it or not, if you get your health or disability insurance from your workplace (such as Kaiser doctors do from Kaiser), you lose all of your legal protections against fraudulent or bad faith claims denials.

Even if you lose everything, your home, your assets, your life savings, due to being cheated out of the insurance benefits you needed to keep that from happening, federal law prevents you from getting even a dime of those losses back.

Preemption is the story about what can happen, and how much you stand to lose, if your insurance claim is denied under ERISA protection.

In The Works…

This Ain’t Harvard

A non-fiction about growing up in America over the last 50 years.