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.)
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.”
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), but 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 Fast Company’s photo editor Joel Arbaje thought they were real at first blush. (“At first!,” he says.) The State Bar Court’s recommendation for a six-month suspensions is currently pending approval by the California Supreme Court.