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I know that this topic may be a little esoteric, but I have a feeling that some people on Kos are both tech-savvy, and somewhat interested in role-playing games.  If so, this may be of interest to you: Coranth Gryphon passed away last month.

This is sad for me, because Coranth was my student a few years ago.  He was definitely not the sort of person one easily forgets; to say he was somewhat of a "rare bird" would be a serious understatement.  Coranth had a piercing stare that I understand made some people uncomfortable, and I could appreciate their unease, but I always found him pleasant, and it was obvious he was very bright.  We had some very spirited discussions, and I believe he and I shared a mutual respect.  Although we all have quirks, it did seem odd to me that Coranth would wear a heavy parka on the warmest summer days (he said he was always cold).  I never really made up my mind as to whether he was simply a little peculiar, or if there was more to it than that.

After the news of his death, a colleague of mine and I did a little checking into who Coranth Gryphon was.  It turns out, he wrote a book that seems to be well respected among the "Laws of the Hunt" crowd (I have to admit I have no idea what "Laws of the Hunt" is; I assume it is similar to Dungeons and Dragons, but I am sure someone will set me straight about that).  The book is available on Amazon.

Coranth passed the California Bar Exam after graduation, but was not sworn in, and he recently passed the Oregon Bar as well.  He was a frequent contributor on many subjects at Yahoo!Answers, and at Findlaw.  His responses appear to have been well received and greatly appreciated by those who participate on such fora.  Based on such information, one might be drawn to think that he had a good future, and plenty of reasons to be happy.

But, in light of his death, a visit to his personal website tends to make me think that Coranth was more than just peculiar.  Clearly, there was something going on inside that was troubling him.

It isn’t clear who wrote the eulogy on the site, and if you check Yahoo! You will see that people have been speculating as to what happened to Coranth.  The big question is: did he commit suicide?  It becomes fairly obvious that no one talking about him really knows.

I was curious too, as was the alumni association.  I figured there was only one good way to settle this matter, and that would be to get the official story.  So, I obtained a copy of Coranth’s Death Certificate.  It came in the mail yesterday.

Coranth Gryphon was found at approximately 1:30 p.m. on November 5, 2007, at the Lower Cedar Creek Campground on Greenhorn Mountain in Kern County, California.  The Immediate Cause of Death is Hanging.  The Coroner’s Report describes how the injury occurs as follows: Self-Inflicted Ligature Hanging.

Coranth wasn’t the first law student I’ve met with issues, and he won’t be the last.  Law school is stressful even for those who do well at it.  However, our student body is getting younger, and I think I am seeing more outward signs of stress as it does.  The older I get, the more they seem like my children.

So there it is.  While I am satisfied with the knowledge and the conclusions of the Coroner, I will still have doubts, but the doubts are about me.  I will wonder if there was something that I could have done to prevent his death; I will wonder if there were signs I should have seen; and I will wonder if there was someone I should have consulted.

This is the season when I’m often writing recommendation letters and filling out character references for bar applicants.   Sometimes, it’s good to get a "gut check."

Originally posted to greggp on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 01:46 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am sorry for your loss. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They are talking about the shootings in Omaha this week.  I think that showing compassion for stressed and disturbed folks can go along away to avoid these killings and so sad suicides.

    I never had a prof that ever noticed.  I had to take 6 mos. away from college to "collect myself."  That was along time ago and I am glad I had alert friends and family.

    "Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back." Carl Sagan

    by dogheaven on Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 02:22:26 PM PST

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