Managed Services and eDiscovery

By Michael Lopez, President, Litigation Solution Inc.

I have seen numerous changes over the past twenty years working in the eDiscovery field. The landscape has shifted, growing more complex and costly. Many law firms and corporations are finding the costs and challenges of maintaining in-house data processing and hosting have become prohibitive. As a result, more are choosing to engage an eDiscovery partner to provide managed services. These partners act as an extension of a firm’s current litigation support staff.

Choosing a Managed Services Model for Your Firm

If you’re considering engaging the solutions of an eDiscovery managed services provider, you have several options. One is completely outsourcing all your eDiscovery to an outside partner. This is a good choice if your law firm or organization wants to disengage from the increasingly sophisticated nature of managing data, or just don’t have the financial or personnel resources available in-house to effectively deal with your eDiscovery demands. In this scenario, your organization agrees to use a partner to manage all eDiscovery. These deals usually include both the software licensing and hardware, such as servers and hard drives, for a monthly fixed rate. Typically, this contains an agreed-upon number of hours to be used for project management and technical issues. Full outsourcing allows firms to have access to the latest technology without having to invest in expensive software or hire new staff. It’s an optimal choice for small or mid-size firms that want to take on larger cases and be more competitive with larger firms without having to add to their employee roster.  

Another option is choosing a basic managed services agreement to provide infrastructure, such as data storage, user access and bandwidth. Firms may choose to supplement that with plans that provide technical support and project management. This is reminiscent of the IT managed services model, in which some, or all, of the day-to-day management of IT responsibilities are transferred to an outside firm. In the eDiscovery realm, it means partners are responsible for dealing with repetitive, daily tasks, processes and project management. An in-house legal department retains overall responsibility for eDiscovery, but internal resources, such as personnel and technology, are maximized.

If all you need is to be able to have eDiscovery tools in a secure location in the cloud, you should consider using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS.) IaaS allows you to use secure areas of a network owned or maintained by an eDiscovery provider and eliminate costly investment in infrastructure. Your in-house legal department will have access to this information for early case assessment, document review and data processing. This is a good option if you have staff with the time and expertise to handle any eDiscovery you may have.  

Reasons to Use Managed Services in eDiscovery

Topping the list of good reasons is security, which is of the utmost importance in these days of hacks and compromised information.  Ensuring the quality and accuracy of work product is another important reason to think about managed services. Obviously, clients care about the quality and accuracy of eDiscovery, and making sure the highest quality work product is delivered by knowledgeable teams using standardized, time-tested processes.

Why LSI to Provide Managed eDiscovery Solutions?

Experience has shown us the best approach is to help you consolidate your projects under one contract, with a predictable monthly cost. A managed services model helps you control the growing costs that can be associated with hardware and infrastructure, and improves workflow efficiency through the use of repeatable processes. LSI mitigates the risks of hosting sensitive data on-site, giving you access to the most current eDiscovery software available, and avoiding the specter of using outdated software.

Michael Lopez is the Owner and President of Litigation Solutions Inc., a full-service litigation support firm with offices in Denver and Boulder, CO. He has more than twenty years of experience working with clients to  deliver a complete range of web-based and traditional solutions to produce forensically sound, admissible evidence and reduce litigation costs.