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Plenty of lawyers have been suspended from practice for mishandling client funds or dropping the ball on cases. Massachusetts attorney Damian Bonazzoli has found himself in the hot seat for a truly modern-day offense: offering to sell academic papers on Craigslist. The Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers of the state’s Supreme Judicial Court suspended Bonazzoli for six months after he was caught peddling papers on the popular Web site in 2009, while a senior staff attorney with the Massachusetts Appeals Court. Michael Fredrickson, general counsel for the Board of Bar Overseers, said on April 13 that it was the first time the state has taken disciplinary action against a lawyer for selling academic papers on Craigslist. Bonazzoli’s attorney, Meredith Wilson of Boston-based Rose, Chinitz & Rose, did not return calls for comment. According to a memorandum prepared by the Board of Overseers, Bonazolli ran three advertisements on Craigslist in July 2009 offering writing and editing services for student papers. In one ad, according to the memo, Bonazolli wrote that he “guarantees you a quality grade.” The board concluded: “In placing the listings, the respondent knew it was likely that any papers written by him would be submitted by the purchaser for academic credit.” A freelance reporter who posed as a law student contacted Bonazzoli seeking a paper on physician-assisted suicide. The reporter was researching a story about the sale of academic papers to college students online that later appeared in CommonWealth magazine, which focuses on Massachusetts politics. Bonazzoli responded to the request by providing his resume, which included his employment at the Massachusetts Appeals Court and that he graduated summa cum laude from Boston College Law School, as well as the promise of a “respectable” grade, according to the memo. The resulting magazine story reported that Bonazzoli offered to write the paper for $300 — he was earning a $94,000 salary at the time. According to the board, Bonazzoli never wrote any or edited any academic papers and removed his Craigslist advertisement in August or September, after the magazine story appeared. According to the magazine, Bonazzoli said he was unaware of a 1972 Massachusetts law prohibiting the sale of term papers and contended it was the responsibility of students to “adhere to the ethics codes that their schools set for them.” Bonazzoli was dismissed from his job at the Massachusetts Appeals Court in December 2009, according to the board. Fredrickson said Bonazzoli could petition the court for reinstatement after six months. His LinkedIn account indicates that he is now working in the software industry. Karen Sloan can be contacted at [email protected] .

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