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LRAW Research Spring 2023

Why Should You Update a Regulation?

Two Reasons to Update Regulations

When we talk about updating regulations, the word updating has two meanings.

First, you must check that you have found the current version of the regulation. Regulations have the potential to change at a faster pace than statutes or cases, and it is not always safe to assume that what appears online is necessarily up-to-date.

Second, just as with statutes and cases, you must update a regulation to make sure it is still good law. At this point, you may also want to look for cases or secondary sources that interpret the regulation. 

Updating to the Current Version of SC Regulations

Updating to the Current Version Using Lexis or Westlaw

South Carolina regulations on Westlaw and Lexis should be (but might not be) current through the most recent monthly South Carolina State Register. The South Carolina State Register is where all final regulations are published when they become effective, unless another effective date is stated.

It is important to check the currency date of a regulation in an online subscription database, and compare it to the date of the latest State Register. If the database is not current, then you must use either the State Register or a citator to check whether there have been changes to the regulation.

Currency date in Lexis:

S.C. Code Regs. 1-02

This document is current through State Register Volume 46, Issue 4, effective May 27, 2022.

1-02. Examinations.

A. An applicant for examination may apply to the Board for accommodation(s)...

 

Currency date in Westlaw:

Credits

HISTORY: Added by State Register Volume 31, Issue No. 5, eff May 25, 2007. Amended by SCSR 44-6 Doc. No. 4923, eff June 26, 2020.

Current through State Register Volume 46, Issue 5, eff June 24, 2022.

S.C. CODE REGS. 1-02, SC ADC 1-02

End of Document                                           © 2021 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

Updating to the Current Version Using the State Register

The latest State Register can be found at https://www.scstatehouse.gov/state_register.php.

 

If there is no State Register with a later date than the currency date of the regulations on Westlaw or Lexis, then you know the Westlaw or Lexis version is in fact up-to-date. (This is the case in the Westlaw example above.)

 

If there is a State Register dated after the currency date of the regulations on Westlaw or Lexis, you will need to open that State Register PDF. (This is the case in the Lexis example above.) Use the table of contents and ctrl+f or cmd+f to navigate.

  • If there is no reference to a regulation, then there has been no change to that regulation, and the Westlaw or Lexis version is up-to-date as to that regulation.
  • If the State Register contains a final regulation that affects the text of an existing regulation, and that final regulation has become effective, then the State Register version is the current version of that regulation.

If more than one State Register has been issued since the currency date on Lexis or Westlaw, you will need to repeat this process for every issue of the State Register since the currency date. We recommend working from older to newer, in order to see changes in the order they were made.

Note that the State Register also contains notices of drafting and proposed regulations, which do not have the force of law but are important forecasts of potential future changes to regulations.


Updating to the Current Version Using a Citator

Shepard's® is the citator for Lexis. Unlike South Carolina statutes and cases, the Shepard's® service is not available for South Carolina regulations. There will be no signal (positive or negative) listed for a South Carolina regulation on Lexiseven if there have been important changes to that regulation since the currency date on Lexis.

KeyCite® is the citator for Westlaw, and is available for South Carolina regulations. If a regulation is not the current version, that would merit a red flag, because it would mean the regulation has been amended, repealed, or superseded. Clicking on the flag should lead to the current version.

Updating SC Regulations for Good Law

Citators Indicate Bad Law

A citator is the only reliable way to determine if a regulation is good law or not. However, you also need context and good judgment in order to interpret the information a citator provides and understand how it affects the validity of a particular regulation.


Shepard's® is the citator for Lexis. On Lexis, you can Shepardize® South Carolina statutes and cases, but it is not possible to Shepardize® a South Carolina regulation. There will be no signal (positive or negative), no Citing Decisions; and no Other Citing Sources listed for a South Carolina regulation on Lexis, even if the regulation has been cited.


KeyCite® is the citator for Westlaw.

Red Flag and Yellow FlagA red flag indicates that the regulation has been amended, repealed, superseded, or held unconstitutional or preempted in whole or in part.

A yellow flag indicates that the regulation has been reinstated, corrected, or confirmed; that the regulation was limited on constitutional or preemption grounds or its validity was otherwise called into doubt; or that a prior version of the regulation received negative treatment from a court.

 

Updating SC Regulations for Good Law using Westlaw's KeyCite® Citator

In Westlaw, to make sure a South Carolina regulation is good law:

  1. Look for any yellow or red KeyCite® flags at the top of the regulation. 
  2. If there is a flag, click on the flag to investigate the specific reason the flag was applied. In the example below, where there is a yellow flag due to a proposed regulation, clicking the flag takes you to that proposed regulation. Because there is only one proposed regulation that is the reason for the flag, you can click either the top yellow flag by the regulation's citation, or the slightly lower yellow flag next to the words "Proposed Regulation" -- either one will take you to that proposed regulation.
  3. It can also be helpful to select the History tab. If there is a content type under the History tab called "Validity," investigate each entry there to determine its effect on the validity of the regulation. In the example below, there are 2 proposed regulations listed under Validity; these are the same proposed regulations that are the reason for the yellow flag. The "Versions" below indicates the State Register document that most recently amended the regulation.
yellow flag27-3006. Non-Motorized Vehicles.

SC ADC 27-3006 • South Carolina Regulations (Approx. 6 pages)

Navigate History

owered by KeyCit

 Proposed Regulation

Finding Other Resources in Westlaw

Notes of Decisions and Citing References for Regulations

Select the Notes of Decisions tab to find cases selected by human editors as the most relevant to the legal issues addressed by a regulation.

 

Choose the Citing References tab to find cases, administrative decisions, secondary sources, and court documents that cite the regulation you are researching. These are as inclusive as possible, based on Westlaw's KeyCite® computer algorithm.

For example, S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 7-401 had only one case listed under Notes of Decisions and 145 resources listed under Citing References. If these other resources are too numerous, you can narrow your results using the filters on the left. 

First choose a content type, and then specific filters relevant to that content type will appear.

Content types

 

Select Administrative Decisions & Guidance above for the filters below to appear.

 

Context and Analysis for Regulations

The Context and Analysis tab can help you find relevant secondary sources, cross references to related statutes or regulations, and other helpful documents related to the regulation.

Do not be surprised if these references are rather thin for state regulations, compared to state statutes and state cases.

For example, S.C. Code Ann. Regs. 7-401 has no sources listed under Context and Analysis.

Updating SC Regulations on scstatehouse.gov or in Print

Updating SC Regulations on scstatehouse.gov

The South Carolina Code of Regulations on scstatehouse.gov is often very far out of date.

Someone who does not have Westlaw, Lexis, or Fastcase access but wants to find the current version of a South Carolina regulation would:

  1. start by finding the currency date at the top of the Code of Regulations webpage, then
  2. look for changes to that regulation in each subsequent issue of the State Register.

Currency date of SC Code of Regulations on scstatehouse.gov:

South Carolina Code of State Regulations

Search the Full Text of the Code of State Regulations
 
Files are current through State Register Volume 45, Issue 9, effective September 24, 2021

PLEASE NOTE: For the best rendering of tables, charts and images, please refer to the PDF version.