Court slaps lawyer for pretending to be chummy with the stars

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By Judge John Hack on

A Hollywood litigator is in hot water with local bar authorities and a California court after claiming that she’s just a little bit too Hollywood


In a tale reminiscent of Woody Allen’s 1983 film Zelig, California’s state bar court has hauled Svitlana Sangary over the coals for producing misleading marketing images suggesting she’s mates with everyone from Barak Obama to Arnold Schwarzenegger.

In Allen’s “mockumentary”, Leonard Zelig had the ability to inveigle his way into the presence and affections of the rich and famous in America’s Roaring Twenties.

Sangary has not been able to go quite that far. However, with the aid of Photoshop she’s come pretty close.

The lawyer — whose two-office Los Angeles firm is described as a business litigation boutique — created a series of photographs purporting to show herself whooping it up big time with the great and the good of cinema and politics (please keep scrolling!)


In addition to cosying up to the commander-in-chief and The Terminator, the lawyer is pictured sharing jokes and good times with George Clooney, Danny DeVito, Anne Hathaway, Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.

The only problem, said Judge Donald Miles, is that Sangary is about as matey with that lot as is the bloke who drives the number 11 bus.

Sangary has subsequently pulled those entertaining shots from her firm’s website. But as a result of having breached the California State Bar’s publicity code — which, funnily enough, seems to require lawyers to keep at least one foot on the ground when promoting their law firms — Judge Miles recommended that Sangary be suspended from practising for two years.

However, the judge showed a degree of compassion by recommending the sentence be stayed for three years, provided Sangary met several conditions and agreed to an initial six-month suspension.

Judge Miles’ recommendations have been sent for rubber-stamping by the California state bar authorities. If it’s any comfort to Sangary, Allen’s film ends with Zelig finding love and being hailed as a national hero.

The full decision by Judge Miles can be read below:

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