Supreme Court justices don’t often compliment the lawyers who appear before them — much less lawyers who argued more than 15 years ago. But that’s what Justice Clarence Thomas did in his talk Thursday before the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he was giving the Marshall Criser Distinguished Lecture. As we reported here Thursday, it was a wide-ranging conversation with students.

One student asked about oral advocacy before the Court, and how justices can be persuaded. Thomas began his answer with a familiar jab at his fellow justices for asking too many questions. “If my colleagues would let you talk … assuming that improbability,” he said, drawing laughter. But then he turned serious and recalled, “I have been persuaded by a lawyer from Florida.” The lawyer was also a CPA and a certified financial planner, he said, and she was disciplined for including that information in her advertising. “She argued her own case,” said Thomas. “She was clear, you could see she was honest, she knew the record, and she won her case.”

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