Saturday, January 30, 2010
Above the Law, Hard-Hitting Term Paper Exposé Costs Appellate Law Clerk His Job:
In November, we told you about Damian Bonazzoli, who was — at that time — a senior staff attorney for the Massachusetts Appeals Court. He decided to make some money on the side by responding to a Craigslist ad seeking someone to write a term paper. The Boston College law grad sent along his résumé and said he was willing to write a paper on physician-assisted suicide for $300.
The Craigslist poster though was not a lazy Harvard freshman. It was an investigative journalist for Commonwealth magazine, who wanted to expose the “shadowy underworld” of college papers for purchase. When the journalist confronted him, Bonazzoli was surely embarrassed but said:“I am aware of no state or federal statute that prohibits such a practice. This is not the equivalent of, say, lying on a federal employment or tax form,” he said. “Could your school take disciplinary action? Of course. But that’s quite different from a criminal prosecution.”
Bonazzoli should have done some research before making that statement, as there is such a statute, passed in 1972. ... Joan Kenney, a spokeswoman for the Trial Court, issued a statement saying that “as of December 29, 2009, Mr. Bonazzoli no longer works at the court.” ...
Bonazzoli lost his $94,000 per year job over a $300 term paper. Ouch.