Innovative litigators are finding the evidence hidden in Slack data — and using it to win.
David Slarskey knows where to look to find the communications that can win a case. “It used to be Bloomberg Terminals where you’d discover the details people didn’t want on the record,”the New-York-based litigator says. “Today, that information is in emerging communication sources, like Slack.”
As a tech-savvy lawyer, Slarskey uses his knowledge of emerging datatypes, such as Slack data, to take on larger, more flat-footed firms—and win.
In 2017, Slarskey put his Slack-savvy to work when he signed on to represent a small tech company after a failed merger transaction. “Essentially, the agreement went sideways and dissolved,” Slarskey explains. “Our client claimed that the larger, acquiring company had abused the due diligence process—that they got under the hood, looked at all the code and used access to various databases to download confidential information.”
When the larger company walked away from the term sheet, after allegedly extracting all the value they would have gotten from the merger without actually going through with the deal, the smaller company turned to Slarskey—and Slarskey turned to the Slack data.That data proved essential to obtaining a favorable settlement.“
The ways in which people are communicating have changed,” Slarskey explains. “Whether Slack or other modes, you need to look at all the ways people are communicating to get a full picture on any particular claim.”
“I think you’re really doing a disservice to your clients if you’re limiting yourself to emails.”
Founder, Slarskey LLC
Slack is the massively popular messaging system meant to make collaboration easy and seamless. A “team collaboration tool” that allows users to message, share files, search conversations, archive information and more, Slack is, in essence, a data repository fused with a high-tech chat room.
Thanks to Slack, more businesses are moving communication away from email and into chat. But many legal professionals don’t know how to handle Slack data in litigation. Legal teams are used to documents, not chat. But chat is taking over.When Slarskey asked opposing counsel to produce Slack communications, they flat-out refused, arguing that such data would be too burdensome to produce and not proportional to the needs of the case. So, Slarskey was forced to defend his data request before the court.
A denial of Slack data might have derailed his case, but Slarskey came to court armed with Logikcull’s guide to Slack discovery. “We showed the clerk that an effective tool exists,” he explains, “and opposing counsel ended up producing the data using Logikcull.”What was revealed in that Slack data, in turn, proved indispensable to his case.
Slack data is the next discovery frontier. Millions of business people use Slack and similar messaging platforms every day, which means workplace IMs are becoming critical evidence in major lawsuits across the country—and attorneys need to get on board, or risk missing out on half the conversation.
“I think you’re really doing a disservice to your clients if you’re limiting yourself to emails,” says Slarskey.
“We have an obligation as lawyers to stay abreast and onestep ahead,” he explains, “because that’s where claims are won and lost: on the communication record.”Accessing Slack data may seem daunting. After all, the platform generates billions of bytes everyday, not only in messages but also in metadata, timestamps, channel information, and edit logs.
With more than 1,000 apps and integrations, Slack lets users edit documents, hire employees, pay vendors, and even make phone calls all through one platform—and each integration creates a discoverable record within the app.
With Logikcull, Slarskey was able to turn Slack data into an opportunity. Not only did he find evidence critical to the case, but he also cemented his reputation as an innovator, capable of explaining to courts, judges, and other litigants how things can be done in a more efficient and reliable manner.
With Logikcull, Slarskey was able to turn Slack data into an opportunity. Not only did he find evidence critical to the case, but he also cemented his reputation as an innovator.