Los Angeles Attorney Faces Suspension For Fake Photoshops With Dozens Of Celebrities

This is part of my “Why Attorneys are Scumbags” series

Los Angeles attorney has been recommended for a six-month suspension for posting digitally doctored photos to her official website.

The case concerns Svitlana Sangary, who for two years featured dozens of realistic images of her posing at parties with the likes of President Obama, the Clintons, vice president Joe Biden, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Nick Lachey on her site. (The link to the page has since been removed, but is still accessible here.)

The photos show Sangary hobnobbing with George Clooney, Donald Trump, Woody Allen and Alec Baldwin, among other boldface names. The thumbnail-sized images show her wearing different outfits, smiles and poses that resemble the celebrity she appears to be with.

Sangary has been charged with four counts of misconduct. In the decision, State Bar Court judge Donald Miles writes that she “willfully violated” the rules of professional conduct by engaging in “deceptive advertising.”

According to the State Bar Court’s decision, since the images belonged to an “advertisement and solicitation for future work,” they fall under the definition of “false and deceptive” advertising. The Bar launched an investigation in January on the false photos.

Indeed, it’s a strange case made stranger by the fact that, on January 27, 2014, when the charges were brought before her, Sangary responded with a “16-page soliloquy with little to no rational connection to the charges at hand,” writes Miles. You can read the snippets of Sangary’s response for yourself here (PDF):

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Among the references are a comparison to Natalie Portman’s controversial final performance in the film Black Swan, and a mention that President Obama once emailed Sangary to “chip in $3 or more.”

The Photoshops are rather convincing, too, and I thought they were real at first blush. (“At first!”.) The State Bar Court’s recommendation for a six-month suspensions is currently pending approval by the California Supreme Court.

According to the State Bar of California, Sangary graduated from Pepperdine University’s School of Law. She was admitted to the State Bar in 2004. On Yelp and legal forum, Avvo, she has received poor reviews with users calling her “scum,” an “unethical crook” and “incompetent” – mostly for excessive billing and failure to file responses and motions on time. Sangary has not publicly commented on the allegations.


See all of the Photoshoped pictures below:

Exhibit A | Click to expand

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