Managed Discovery Services (MDS)

Managed Discovery Services

Eleventh Hour assists legal organizations with defining their ediscovery spend and requirements for outsourcing services.  We assist legal organizations in contracting with preferred vendors capable of delivering Managed Discovery Services (MDS).

MDS is a monthly subscription for discovery services that reduces per matter (per project) discovery costs.  It helps to instill consistent process, streamline data processing, and to elevate work quality and consistency.  It is best suited for those legal organizations who are dissatisfied with the internal capital and overhead expense of discovery, or who have internalized some services but now found the upkeep of litigation support too burdensome and expensive.  It is also a viable option for any legal organization just instituting an ediscovery program who would like to afford more service for lower start-up cost.

MDS is typically a subscription based package that includes storage capacity, technology use, processing capacity (electronic documents and paper), review hosting, and technical and production support.

For more information contact Eleventh Hour at, or call 206-567-0069.

Implementing Managed Discovery Services 

To implement MDS in a Legal Organization:

  • Define the legal organization’s litigation profile – service requirements, ediscovery spend, and capacity thresholds
  • Obtain market intel and use robust Request for Proposal to short list capable Tier 1 Managed Discovery Service providers
  • Negotiate contract parameters – inclusives, exclusives
  • Work with knowledgeable expert to implement selected Service – processes, workflow, documentation and training
Ten-Point Checklist for Evaluating Managed Discovery Service Providers

1 – Configure the right team

2 – Ask potential vendors for the information that will paint the clearest possible picture of their capabilities. Information will be needed on:

  • Corporation – Financials, Management, Operations
  • Capabilities
  • Capacity
  • Quality assurance
  • Workflow plan
  • Project management
  • Detailed cost estimate
  • References
  • Recommendations for project improvement

3 – Provide instructions for formatting responses, including sample text

4 – Choose the right potential partners

5 – Build in enough response time

6 – Use uniform evaluation criteria

7 – Be available to answer questions

8 – Narrow the field

9 – Build a testing stage

10 – Communicate with all respondents about your decision


Managed Discovery Services (“MDS”) Defined.

Managed Discovery Services (MDS) is a monthly subscription core infrastructure and workflow solution for legal organizations who are dissatisfied with the internal capital costs for and overhead expense of managing litigation support operations – storage, technology licensing, and internal data processing.

The model is geared toward legal organizations that have tried their hand at insourcing litigation support operations and found the upkeep – capacity, technology, and systems expertise – burdensome, risky or too expensive. Managed Discovery Services (MDS) is also a good model for legal organizations that are just developing themselves.  It is a good value for those who are outsourcing per matter (per project) discovery processing and data hosting at per gigabyte prices without the benefit of preferred vendor pricing (“PVP”). For IT or Litigation Support MDS is a consideration if moving litigation support data processing, hosting and databases to a co-location facility due to ongoing storage capacity or maintenance issues. MDS offers try before you buy options for those thinking of adding onto, upgrading or changing their legal technology package as most MDS packages offer technology licensing, and advanced features such as de-duplication, email threading, and “quick look” (i.e., eliminating use of standalone Outlook installs).  Further, for those struggling to get evidence under control, or tracking project work, top MDS vendors offer real-time evidence tracking and project management tools.


Is MDS Right for Your Organization?

Is Managed Discovery Services (“MDS”) right for your legal organization?  To answer that depends on two key questions – (1) what is the legal organization’s current ediscovery spend, and (2) what services and threshold storage and data processing capacity is the legal organization willing to pay for?  Answering these two questions will help your legal organization assess whether MDS is right for you.

Other business questions that should be addressed to select and right-size MDS include:

  • Whether your organization owns, will own or rent technology licensing;
  • Should the vendor adopt all or part of the internal litigation support staff;
  • How much dedicated staffing does the legal organization require, and at what levels – help/support, technical, project management;
  • Will the legal organization require onsite service support at any location;
    • If yes, where are those service locations, and what are the personnel requirements


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