According to the State Bar Court judge in California, a Los Angeles lawyer was given a 6 month suspension because she manipulated photos on her firm’s website suggesting she knew and worked with celebrities and politicians.
Svitlana Sangary was not being an honorable lawyer overall. She is a cum laude graduate from Pepperdine University of Law, and received her undergraduate degree in Ukraine. Despite doing well in law school, Sangary did not follow the laws when it comes to manipulation. On Sangary’s website, she photoshopped roughly 50 photos of herself with celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Donald Trump. She is said to have engaged in false advertising, refused to cooperate with bar investigators, and even released files of a client who had fired her.
Sangary failed to remove the deceptively photoshopped pictures from her website despite the State Bar bringing the issue to her attention. She also failed to return messages from the State Bar in the beginning, but eventually wrote a 16 page soliloquy about her success being an immigrant and overcoming attacks and intimidation in the field. She then went on to speak of being a philanthropist, supporter of social causes, and even received an email from President Barack Obama asking for additional donations.
The fact that she disregarded the photoshop problem made the State Bar officials feels as if her misconduct will continue in the future. In addition, the photos are misleading to potential and current clients into believing she is a well-known lawyer among powerful people. Being a person who people look to for legal advice and upholding the law, the Bar felt as if a disbarring would be a sufficient punishment for Sangary in hopes she will not use her title to mislead clients again. Since Sangary’s disbarment, the photos have been taken down from her website.
Hopefully after her 6 month disbarment, Sangary will return as an even better attorney, and avoid manipulating photos to gain business.