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Moonlighting Law Clerk Loses Day Job

In a post here in November, Appeals Court Lawyer 'Traffics' in Term Papers, we told you about Damian R. Bonazzoli, a senior staff attorney for the Massachusetts Appeals Court who advertised himself on Craigslist as available to write term papers for a fee, even though it is against Massachusetts law to sell a term paper. Now, the moonlighting law clerk has lost his day job.

Bonazzoli's extracurricular activities came to light in an article on term paper trafficking written by Colman M. Herman and published in the fall issue of CommonWealth magazine. Posing as a college student, Herman wrote to Craigslist advertisers seeking to buy a paper on physician-assisted suicide. Bonazzoli was one who responded, asking $300 and including his resume, which showed him to work for the Appeals Court. In a subsequent e-mail exchange with Herman, Bonazzoli said he was aware of no law that would make it illegal to sell a term paper.

Last week, The Docket, the blog of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, reported that Bonazzoli no longer works at the court. No one is saying whether he left on his own or was terminated. Joan Kenney, a spokeswoman for the court system, issued a statement saying, "As of December 29, 2009, Mr. Bonazzoli no longer works at the court." The statement added that Appeals Court administrator Alexander M. McNeil confirmed "that an investigation into the matter was completed."

MLW reporter Julia Reischel reached Bonazzoli at his home. He declined to answer her questions, but read a prepared statement: "I am not in the business of selling term papers. I have never authored a term paper for anyone. I have never received any money from anyone for any academic service."

At CommonWealth magazine's blog, CW Unbound, Herman, the reporter who first broke the story, writes that the Appeals Court had placed Bonazzoli on paid administrative leave while it investigated the report of term paper trafficking.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on January 26, 2010 at 10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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