On Friday, February 2, 2024, the Kansas Supreme Court ordered attorney Mark A. Roy to be suspended from practicing law for 12 months, however, the suspension is stayed, and he will instead be placed on 12 months of probation. The order stems from Roy’s mishandling of an adoption case that resulted in the dismissal of three adoption petitions.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Mark A. Roy,” with case no. 126,012.

The charges cited Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.15, 1.3, 1.5, and 8.4(g).

According to the court’s opinion, Roy met with a client, F.K., in 2016 to evaluate a home for sale. When F.K. asked about adoption services, Roy agreed to handle the adoption of F.K.’s spouse’s three children, though Roy had no prior experience in adoption law. F.K. paid Roy a $2,000 flat fee for the adoptions, with no written fee agreement in place.

Roy filed three separate adoption petitions in January 2017 but failed to obtain hearing dates from the court as required. Over the next year, Roy sent occasional emails to F.K. noting he was waiting to hear dates from the court but took no further action. In March 2018, the petitions were dismissed for not scheduling hearings within the required 60 days. Roy did not inform F.K. of the dismissal.

When F.K. requested a partial refund in March 2021, Roy refunded the entire $2,000 fee in September 2022 using personal funds. An investigation found Roy unable to produce trust account records or show how F.K.’s funds were handled. A new attorney completed two of the adoptions for F.K. in June 2021.

The Court opinion concluded Roy lacked competence in adoption law, failed to act with diligence, properly communicate his fees, or safeguard client funds. Roy admitted to violating rules regarding competence, diligence, fees, trust accounts, and conduct reflecting fitness to practice. Aggravating factors included a 1997 public censure and Roy’s substantial experience. Mitigating factors were the lack of dishonest motive and showing of remorse.

After reviewing the stipulated facts, conclusions of law, and considering the position of the parties presented at oral argument, the Kansas Supreme Court adopted the deputy disciplinary administrator’s recommendation of a 12-month suspension, stayed pending successful completion of a 12-month probation period.

The Disposition states:

“IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Mark A. Roy is hereby suspended for a period of 12 months from the practice of law in the state of Kansas, effective from the date this opinion is filed, with the 12-month suspension stayed pending successful completion of a 12-month probation period, effective the date of this opinion in accordance with Supreme Court Rule (2023 Kan. S. Ct. R. at 281) for violating KRPC 1.1, 1.15, 1.3, 1.5, and 8.4(g).”

According to avvo.com, Mr. Roy is an attorney in Kansas City, Missouri. He acquired his law license in Kansas in 1991. 

A copy of the original filing can be found here.