An AP story says that a new U.S. Supreme Court rule book, effective July1, turns a "long-standing practice" into a rule -- you must be a lawyer to argue before the Supreme Court. Nonlawyers apparently have asked. According to the story, a magazine publisher, entrepreneur and paralegal-in-training asked but were turned down, the paralegal-in-training the past year. But the last nonlawyer to argue before the Court did so some 35 years ago:
New York resident Samuel H. Sloan, now 68, was the last nonlawyer to do it when he represented himself in 1978 in a lawsuit involving stock trading. Sloan says he interviewed several lawyers who volunteered to represent him for free, just for the prestige of appearing before the court, but he decided to handle the job himself.
"It wasn't on an ego thing or anything like that," he said recently. "I wanted to win the case. I was convinced I couldn't win the case in any other way but to argue my own case."
He won 9-0.