Researching South Carolina Law
National Business Institute
As with everything
that we’ve reviewed
this semester, South
Carolina has 3 primary
sources of law.
• legislation; and
and the South
of Appeals are
published in the
• officially in the South
Carolina Reports; and
• unofficially in the South
Eastern Reporter, 1st or
Locating South Carolina State Cases?
• party name; or
• subject searching.
If you are subject searching in
print, there is both a South
Carolina Digest and a South
Eastern Digest, 1st & 2nd
Locating South Carolina Briefs
Briefs submitted to the South Carolina
Supreme Court, from 1918 onwards,
are collected in print format by the
South Carolina Supreme Court Library.
Briefs submitted to the South Carolina
Court of Appeals are collected in print
format from 1983 onwards.
South Carolina Judicial Site
At this time, the South Carolina Judicial site does not post
all briefs submitted to the South Carolina Supreme Court.
Instead, it publishes a Case of the Month.
Each case has briefs available in pdf format and there is
streaming video of the oral argument of the case selected
to be Case of the Month.
Locating Federal South Carolina Cases
Federal court decisions, at the district court level, are decided in federal
courts located in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Greenville.
Decisions from these courts, when published, are published in the print
National Reporter source known as the Federal Supplement series.
This resource is also available in electronic format in WestlawNext.
F. Supp. citations can also be used to obtain cases in electronic format in
Federal Courts of Appeal
Decisions from South Carolina’s federal district courts can be appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of
Appeal in Richmond, VA.
South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia are states within the Fourth Circuit.
Decisions from the 4th Circuit, since 1932, are officially published in print in the Federal Reporter series.
This is also available in electronic format in WestlawNext.
These decisions are also published electronically on AdvanceLexis.
To use a print resource to locate federal district and circuit court decisions, use the non-cumulating
Federal Digest series. There are now five series, beginning coverage in 1754 and continuing to the
From the Fourth Circuit
Decisions from the Fourth Circuit are then appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
U.S. Supreme Court decisions are published in print (U.S. Reports, Supreme Court
Reporter, Lawyer’s Edition: Supreme Court Reports) and on numerous web sites.
These decisions are also available on WestlawNext and AdvanceLexis.
Subject searching in print can be done with the cumulative (1754 to the present)
Supreme Court Digest.
What are the parties’ name for the decision published at 309 S.C.
Locate the 2010 South Carolina Court of Appeals decision involving
Jennings v. Jennings. What is the official citation for this decision?
What is the unofficial citation?
What are the names of the parties involved in the South Carolina
Supreme Court decision involving the trial of a juvenile for the
murder of his paternal grandparents? What is the official citation?
Locating a Case by Citation:
395 S.C. 461 (2011.)
Locating a Case by Party Name: Segars Andrews v.
South Carolina Judicial Merit
Locating a Case by Subject: Murder & Juvenile &
Video & Gun
South Carolina’s initial Constitution was enacted in 1776.
It has been revised and reissued several times, including
the following years: 1778, 1790, 1861, 1865, 1868, 1895.
Older versions of the Constitution of South Carolina can
be located in print and micro formats.
South Carolina Code
Legislation, enacted by the South Carolina legislature, is
published in a subject, or code, arrangement of 63 titles known
as the Code of Laws of South Carolina 1976 Annotated.
It can be searched via keyword/index, citation or popular name.
In addition to the print version, electronic versions are available
on WestlawNext, AdvanceLexis and the South Carolina
South Carolina Session Laws
Known as the Acts and Joint Resolutions of the General
Assembly of South Carolina, South Carolina’s session laws are
a chronological arrangement of the laws passed by a legislative
session, i.e. the equivalent of the federal Statutes at Large.
This is available in print and electronic format on
WestlawNext, AdvanceLexis, and the South Carolina
Legislature Online. The South Carolina Legislature Online has
session laws from 1975 to the present.
Online, the session laws can be searched by bill/act number,
sponsor or via full text.
Bills currently pending in the South
Carolina legislature (House & Senate)are
available in print and electronic formats.
Bills can be searched by key word,
sponsor, bill number, committee or
by South Carolina’s
are published in an
appendix to the Code of
Laws of South Carolina
In addition to print, the
regulations are published
in electronic format in
AdvanceLexis, and the
South Carolina Legislature
South Carolina Administrative Agency Decisions
Just as we discussed that federal agencies operated under
both legislative and executive delegations of power and then
behaved sometimes as quasi legislatures or quasi courts, the
same is also true of South Carolina administrative agencies.
Administrative regulations fall under a grant of power from
the legislative branch while administrative court decisions
and appeals fall under a grant of power from the executive
Check out the
available in print, and
online in Westlaw.
Law reviews and
periodicals published in
South Carolina include:
• Charleston Law Review
• South Carolina Journal of
International Law & Business
• South Carolina Law Review
• South Carolina Lawyer
South Carolina has primary and secondary sources of law
available in print, micro and electronic formats.
Finding aids, indexes, and encyclopedias exist to help
researchers locate materials on their topic.
As with all things legal, don’t forget to update. You can
use South Carolina citators on either AdvanceLexis
(Shepard’s) or WestlawNext (KeyCite.)