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Circuit Riders: Legal Research Training for Non-Lawyers

Citing South Carolina Cases

South Carolina cases are first published in advance sheets as slip opinions and then later in the official South Carolina Reports and the unofficial regional South Eastern Reporter. The proper citation for a South Carolina case always includes:

1. The case name (last names of the parties) in italics or underlined;

2. The volume and page numbers for both reporters where the case is published(called parallel citations); and

3. The year the case was decided.

For example, the Williams v. Smalls trespassing cows case should be cited as:

 Williams v. Smalls, 390 S.C. 375, 701 S.E.2d 772 (Ct. App. 2010).

This case was decided by the South Carolina Court of Appeals, so you must also include Ct. App. in the parenthesis with the year. If Williams v. Smalls had been a South Carolina Supreme Court decision, you would include only the year in the parenthesis. Therefore, it is assumed that the case is a Supreme Court case if Ct. App. is not included.

It is not necessary to include S.C. in the parenthesis because South Carolina case citations must include the official South Carolina Reports (parallel) citation.

South Carolina Appellate Court Rule 268 governs the citation of South Carolina cases. It is available via the Court Rules link on the South Carolina Judicial Department’s website.

Rule 268 also recommends The Bluebook:  A Uniform System of Citation published by the Harvard Law Review Association and A Guide to South Carolina Legal Research and Citation by Paula Gail Benson (S.C. Bar C.L.E. Division) for additional guidance.