Hobnobbing and associating with A-Listers is always good for the ego, but it can also be good for business. Problem for lawyer Svitlana Sangary, an LA Attorney, is she photoshopped herself into parties that she never attended, rubbing shoulders with George Cooney, Donald Trump and others.
Result: A six month suspension form the State Bar Court in Los Angeles.
Ms Sangary engaged in deceptive advertising, refused to cooperate with bar investigators and, in a separate manner, dragged her feet releasing the files of a client who had fired her, State Bar Court Judge Donald Miles found.
“The court has grave concerns regarding [Sangary’s] demonstrated lack of insight and her contemptuous conduct during these proceedings,” Miles wrote. Her “failure to remove the deceptive images from her website, even after the State Bar brought this issue to her attention, and her demonstrated disregard for the disciplinary process give little reason to believe that her misconduct will not continue.”
Sangary did not return messages Wednesday. In a January 2014 response to the bar’s allegations, Sangary wrote what Miles described as “a 16-page soliloquy with little or no rational connection to the charges at hand.” The rambling document appears to touch on a number of legal disputes in which she was or is a litigant. She writes of being a successful immigrant who has endured intimidation tactics and spiteful attacks from others.
“Sangary’s American dream has come true,” she wrote in the third-person. “Sangary is a prominent donor and philanthropist, supporting important social causes, who had recently received the email from President Obama with the subject line ‘I need your help today,’ asking … for an additional donation.”
The response is attached to 148 pages of exhibits, which include emails, canceled checks, articles about actress Natalie Portman and a fund-raising pitch from the Democratic Party—none of which seem to be relevant to the bar’s complaint.
For approximately two years, a page on Sangary’s website, www.californiacivillawyer.com, showed dozens of photos of the attorney standing next to celebrities, including George Clooney, President Obama, Donald Trump and Morgan Freeman.
Bar investigators contended, and Miles agreed, that “many, and perhaps all” of the images were altered to overlay Sangary’s photo, making it seem that she was frequently in the company of celebrities in an attempt “to confuse, deceive and mislead the public.”