Mass. Lawyer Suspended for 6 Months for Craigslist Term Paper Offer
Damian R. Bonazzoli, a Massachusetts lawyer who allegedly placed three advertisements on Craigslist to write students’ term papers and essays, was recently suspended from practice for six months. Additionally, Bonazzoli lost his job with the Massachusetts Appeals Court, according to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Advertising writing services, for a fee, for something that could be submitted for academic credit violates the rules of professional conduct, according to the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers of the state supreme judicial court. It is also against state law in Massachusetts, though the Board of Bar Overseers General Counsel Michael Fredrickson told the Telegram & Gazette that he was unsure whether Bonazzoli would be prosecuted. “We’ve never had anything like this before,” he said.
Bonazzoli’s actions came to the court’s attention when a freelance reporter with CommonWealth Magazine responded to one of Bonazzoli’s ads, looking for a paper about physician-assisted suicide. Bonazzoli wrote back that he would help, and guaranteed a “respectable” grade, according to the the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers. He also wrote that he was an attorney with the Massachusetts Appeals Court.
An article mentioning the exchange was published in 2009. According to the CommonWealth piece Bonazzoli earned $94,000 a year working for the court, and he sought $300 to write the paper.
According to Fredrickson, Bonazzoli, who lives in Lancaster, did not write papers after the reporter contacted him, and he removed the listings after discovering the person’s identity.