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.
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:
Currency date in Westlaw:
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 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.
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 Lexis, even 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.
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.
A 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.
In Westlaw, to make sure a South Carolina regulation is good law:
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.
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.
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:
Currency date of SC Code of Regulations on scstatehouse.gov: