We occasionally highlight innovative practices by innovative attorneys we’ve come across during our law practice marketing and rebranding seminars. One attorney we recently met is T. “Scotch” Reynolds, an attorney in Idaho who is considered one of the foremost authorities on Third Amendment law. While we’ve advised attorneys to dabble in certain areas, third amendment law is not one of those areas. It’s an arcane and oft-misunderstood amendment dealing with the quartering of soldiers. We recently sat down with Scotch to talk about Third Amendment law and his practice.
BLB: Just what is the Third Amendment?
Scotch: I can quote it, if you want, it’s not that long. The Third Amendment provides that “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”
BLB: Sounds awful.
Scotch: Not really. It’s one of the more dynamic amendments, especially if you’ve studied it for some time, like I have.
BLB: But, how’s it apply? Give us some applications of the Third Amendment.
Scotch: Great question. Hypothetically, let’s say the military decides that its soldiers and armed personnel need to stay in your house, at no cost to the government. The Third Amendment prohibits that from happening, unless we are in a time of war.
BLB: Wow. All of them in my house?
BLB: But aren’t we in a war? A War on Terror. I think we’re at level Orange. Scary.
Scotch: Sure. Putting four or five colonels in your house is currently not per se unconstitutional. The U.S. could quarter soldiers in your house but the soldiers have to act mannerly if they do.
BLB: For example?
Scotch: Take out the trash, say please, pat your dog on the head, that kind of thing.
BLB: Really? Wow. Is there consensual quartering?
Scotch: Sure. My ex-wife did that in 1987. Turns out that the Third Amendment only requires one person residing in the house to consent. And that the Third Amendment does not preempt matrimonial law, though the court, in my opinion, got that one badly wrong.
BLB: Sorry to hear that. How did you get into Third Amendment law?
Scotch. Interesting story. I originally went to law school to be an Eighteenth Amendment scholar. I was interested in the phrase “beverage purposes” and its use throughout legal history. But over time I found myself overcommitted to my field studies. I ended up a drunk, with a tattoo of the 18th Amendment across my chest [showing tattoo]. That’s actually how I got the name Scotch. Anyway, after I sobered up, my advisor thought I’d like the Third Amendment better, that it was still an active amendment and worth investigating. I agreed, and here I am today.
BLB: Cool. Do you Tweet about the Third Amendment?
Scotch: Everyday. The issues around the Third Amendment are endless. I end up getting blocked by a lot of people.
BLB: Awesome. Thanks for talking with us, and good luck.
Scotch: No problem. Love your advice, by the way. I’m trying out a Lebowski-driven practice, sans White Russians.
BLB: It’s a good one. Dude abides.
Scotch: Flawg on, Chank.