Law Prof Who Fought Gender and Orientation Bias Dies in Six-Story Fall; Death Ruled a Suicide

A law professor at Chapman University in California who was known for gay rights advocacy died Friday in a fall from a six-story parking structure in Irvine.

Mary Katherine Baird Darmer was 47. A spokesperson for the Orange County Coroner’s office said the death was a suicide, the Orange County Register reports.

Darmer, who taught criminal procedure, was known for her opposition to discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. In online comments, her students remembered her as a caring person who was both a mentor and excellent teacher.

After receiving her her law degree from Columbia University, Darmer clerked for Judges Kimba Wood and William Timbers. She also worked as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell and as a federal prosecutor in Manhattan.

Darmer is survived by her husband, Jones Day partner Roman Ernest Darmer II, report the Daily Pilot and the Los Angeles Times blog L.A. Now. She also had at least one child, the stories say.

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