The ABA Journal informs me this morning that a California bar court judge has recommended a six-month suspension for attorney Svitlana Sangary. Oh, she has some client ethics complaints against her, but that was the least of her problems.
On her firm website, she had posted photographs showing Sangary with politicians and celebrities, including President Obama, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George Clooney, Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Morgan Freeman and Paris Hilton. An expert testified that most or all of the images were photoshopped, making them visual lies. A lawyer is not allowed to lie on her website, or anywhere else when it may mislead clients and the public.
Then Sangary took an unreasonable amount of time responding to inquires from the bar’s investigators. This never goes over well. When she finally cooperates, sort of, she answered the bar’s allegations with documents described by the bar court judge as “bizarre” and having “little to no rational connection to the charges at hand.” For example, one of them included this inspiring passage:
“Sangary’s American dream has come true, as she has been able to achieve a point wherein now, in her thirties, 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 SVITLANA SANGARY for an additional donation.”
Other than the fact that this is gibberish, irrelevant, and ungrammatical irrelevant gibberish, it suggests that she really thinks robo-emails are personal appeals from the President himself. I wonder if she’s heard from that Nigerian prince?
In another highlight, she wrote…
Also, with regard to false statement and misleading advertisement, none other than Natalie Portman comes to mind. the online media extensively covers the controversy surrounding the performance of Natalie Portman in the film “The Black Swan.” The ballet dancer who performed in “The Black Swan,” Sarah Lane, has come forward to revel [ Svitlana’s typo, not mine!] a coverup, and says that Natalie Portman’s head was superimposed on Sarah Lane’s body, and that Natalie Portman lied….Despite the foregoing, Natalie Portman won an Oscar for her performance in “The Black Swan.”
Ah, yes, that variation on “everybody does it,” Natalie Portman did it.
That’s not all, though. During her ethics trial, Svitlana refused to answer questions, citing her First Amendment right to remain silent. That’s no typo; that was what she said. Well, heck, anyone can mix up the First and the Fifth Amendments. It’s just that we expect lawyers to know the difference.
The nice bar court judge recommended a six-month suspension and a three-year probation period, and suggested that Sangary should be required to take and pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam.
Two questions occur to me:
1. Why would a lawyer like this not be disbarred, or at least sent back to the first year of law school, if not junior high school, to learn English, logic, ethics, and the Constitution?