In a post I wrote in November 2009 at Legal Blog Watch, Appeals Court Lawyer ‘Traffics’ in Term Papers, I told you about Damian R. Bonazzoli, then 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. Bonazzoli’s extracurricular activities came to light in an article on term paper trafficking written by Colman M. Herman and published in the fall 2009 issue of CommonWealth magazine. Two months later, Bonazzoli was out of his job at the court.
Now, Bonazzoli has had his law license suspended over the incident, according to a report by Herman published today on the CommonWealth website. The Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers suspended Bonazzoli from law practice for six months, Herman reports.
The board said a six-month suspension was warranted because Bonazzoli never actually sold any term papers and that he had already received substantial adverse publicity on the Internet, in legal publications, and in the legal community. The agency also pointed out that Bonazzoli acknowledged the “wrongfulness of his conduct” before the matter was brought to its attention.
It is interesting that the BBO considered “adverse publicity on the Internet” to be a factor in favor of mitigating the sanction to be imposed.