Lighter Side: Lawyer doctors celeb pics to boost profile

by NZ Lawyer26 Sep 2014
A Los Angeles attorney is facing suspension after posting doctored photos on her firm’s website that showed her with high profile celebrities such as President Obama, Kim Kardashian and George Clooney.

Svitlana Sangary had been ordered to remove the images after a State Bar warning that they were false advertising.

But when she failed to do so Judge Donald Miles issued an 18-page decision outlining her disregard of the disciplinary process and recommended a six-month suspension.

The ruling said because the "photographs were part of an advertisement and solicitation for future work ... they were false, deceptive, and intended to confuse, deceive and mislead the public."

The California Supreme Court will decide on the recommendation, the Daily Mail reports.

The California Bar Association is recommending two and a half years of probation after the six-month suspension.

The attorney, whose practice specialises in insurance, business, real estate, foreclosure, employment and personal injury litigation, denied the allegations saying she was photographed with ‘talented and successful people’ at charity and political events.

But State Bar Court Judge Miles said the photos posted on Sangary’s law practice website “were created by taking original celebrity photos and then overlaying (Sangary’s) image in order to make it appear as though (Sangary) was in the presence of that celebrity.”

The judge also slammed the lawyer's response to the charges, labelling it as little more than a
'16-page soliloquy with little to no rational connection to the charges at hand".

Included in Sangary’s bizarre response to the images is a reference to Natalie Portman’s performance in the movie Black Swan.

"The ballet dancer who performed in the Black Swan, Sarah Lane, has come forward to revel [sic] a 'cover-up' and says that Natalie Portman's head was superimposed on to Sarah Lane's body, and that Natalie Portman lied," she wrote, explaining that far from being investigated "Natalie Portman has won an Oscar for her perfomance".

Sangary also claims to have a close relationship to US President Barrack Obama, who writes to her personally requesting she donate money to "important social causes".

Far from being emabarrased by the revelations of photoshopping, the lawyer still proudly displays her multitude of "celebrity" photos under the 'publicity' section of her website.