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Expert services

Learn more about expert services requests for sealed Superior and District Court cases, and Protective Orders. 

The Department of Public Defense (DPD) authorizes funding for expert services and other case-related resources for our clients. This includes clients with eligible retained counsel.

This judicial function has been delegated to DPD. Learn more about the authority and process for expert services authorization in CrR 3.1 (258KB).

Expert Services Administrative Attorneys

We authorize 2 Expert Services Administrative Attorneys (ESAAs). They function as judicial officers in reviewing requests for expert services and case-related resources. The ESAAs are experienced criminal defense attorneys. They are not DPD employees and operate independently.

Our 2 current ESAAs are Dan Norman and Jennifer Kaplan. They both have extensive experience in criminal defense and the use of expert services.

Expert services process include:

  • ESAAs functioning as judicial officers independently of DPD.
  • Requests for expert services requiring a motion, certification or declaration, and order.
  • Pleadings should be of the same high quality as submitted to a judge.
  • The result is a court order setting forth the terms and scope of the authorization.

Instructions and forms

The information below provides instructions on the process, as well as forms for the necessary motions, certification/declarations, and orders.

DPD's Expert Services Policy (561KB)

PowerPoint: A Guide to Expert Services (1,192KB)

Expert Services Requests

  • Attorneys are responsible for finding the appropriate expert or service and establishing the most cost-effective means to accomplish the desired goal or task. Be sure to review the DPD expert fee guidelines (499KB).
  • Electronic submission of materials is required. Submit the Motion/Declaration and proposed Order by email to Counsel should refer to the Expert Services Request Checklist (175KB) to ensure their requests are correctly completed.
  • If a request is modified or denied, that decision can be appealed to the Chief Criminal Presiding Judge. The appeal submission must include the ESAA's written ruling denying the request.
  • Examples of successful/high-quality expert services requests

Sealed Superior Court Cases

  • Submit all expert services pleadings along with the Motion and Order to Seal Documents and the Motion and Protective Order to the Chief Criminal Presiding Judge per King County Superior Court Manual Section 10.2 (394KB).
  • The Chief Criminal Presiding Judge reviews and signs the Order to Seal and Protective Order and forwards all pleadings to DPD.
  • DPD processes and forwards all pleadings to ESAAs for review.

Sealed District Court Cases

Submit all expert services pleadings along with the Motion and Order to Seal Documents and the Motion and Protective Order directly to All funding requests will be ruled upon by the ESAAs. We then forward the request to the District Court Presiding Judge who will rule on the motion to seal and file the request. If the motion to seal is denied, the materials will be returned to the attorney to decide how to proceed. DPD will notify the attorney once sealing and filing are completed.

Protective Orders

Court documents prepared and maintained by the Court are not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act (PRA). However, when Court documents are transferred to non-judicial County entities, they become subject to the PRA unless they are subject to a Protective Order. Yakima County v. Yakima Herald-Republic, 170 Wn.2d 775 (2011).

A Protective Order covers documents released to 1 or more:

  • Other County agencies
  • Washington State Auditor or the IRS
  • Any State or County financial institution
  • The King County Prosecuting Attorney Criminal Division or any other government agency responsible for prosecution of defendant

Attorneys must email the Clerk of the Council a signed PDF copy of each Protective Order with the subject line “Protective Order, client name and case number” at It is an attorney's responsibility to see that the Protective Order is properly filed.

Expert Services Request forms

Superior Court Cases

District Court Cases

Expert Services tips

  • Be sure that all your documentation is accurate. Double-check case name and number and ensure that supporting documentation has current dates.
  • DPD staff does not have the authority to modify pleadings. Expert services requests that are incomplete or contain errors will be returned to counsel.
  • Immediately contact DPD Expert Services if your expert’s contact information changes.
  • Make sure that your Order Authorizing Expert Services at Public Expense has a current date at the bottom and that you have included the business name/DBA of your expert.
  • We prefer to process expert travel expenses that involve flight, accommodation, and/or car rental through Tangerine Travel.
  • Billing affidavits must be signed by both the attorney and the expert. E-signatures (s/Your Name) are encouraged. The billing affidavit must include billing period start and end date, as well as the grand total.
  • Review the billing instructions for details of the payment process. These are attached to the same email you received from when your order was approved.
  • Investigators must attach timesheets showing the date and time spent on each case-related activity and the total time corresponding with those activities on the billing affidavit.
  • Billing affidavits for transcription services must be accompanied by an itemized invoice clearly showing the calculation of costs of each transcript as well as the total.
  • Attach receipts for all expenses greater than $10.

Commonly used experts

We maintain a contact list of commonly used experts and investigators. Attorneys are not required to use the experts and investigators on this list, and the experts and investigators included on this list are not pre-approved or vetted by DPD. The expert and investigator list is available upon request. Please contact Krystyna Langsen at The Washington Defender Association also maintains an expert bank.