Eagle County court nominees anticipate selection from governor
By Dec. 13, the newest Eagle County Court judiciary will be appointed to the bench
On Nov. 28, The Colorado Judicial Branch announced three nominees for the Eagle County Court judgeship vacancy. The seat on the court had previously been filled by judge Rachel Olguin-Fresquez, who now serves on the 5th Judicial District Court bench. Those selected by the 5th Judicial District Nominating Commission as candidates for the Eagle County Court judgeship are Braden Angel of Avon, Inga Causey of Gypsum and Courtney Holm of Edwards.
Per the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from the announcement of judiciary nominees to appoint the replacement for the court. So, by Dec. 13, Gov. Jared Polis will have met with all three nominees and selected the newest county judge.
All three candidates said they serve their community in their current roles and would welcome the opportunity to do so in a more prominent role as a county court judge.
Angel currently works as an attorney at Causey & Howard. He also serves as the president of the Colorado Bar Association. He has also served as a victim’s advocate, a legal advocate, a 5th Judicial District deputy district attorney, and as a prosecutor for the Blue River Municipal Court.
“Essentially, my entire practice has been focused on serving our community and trying to get those involved in our community to have proportionate time in court,” Angel said.
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Because of this focus throughout his career and his familiarity working within the county court, Angel said he is “very well-suited” for the job. Understanding the ebbs and flows of the county court is a strength of his, he said.
Angel ran for district attorney in the 2020 election cycle. He lost in the Democratic primary to Heidi McCollum, a native of Eagle, who became the first female to hold the top job in the sprawling 5th Judicial District that encompasses Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties.
Even in defeat, Angel said his run for the top prosecutor’s job shows his commitment to working for the residents of Eagle County.
He said he feels his continuous pursuit of supporting the people of Eagle County proves his dedication to the community and qualification to sit upon the county court bench.
“It’s all been driven by my motivation and my desire to do what’s best for our community, make sure our community is safe,” he said.
Angel also said it is important for the community to understand that the position would not just be a stepping stone for him — Eagle County is where he is rooted and where he wants to remain.
“My life, my goals, my family, my everything that I have sought for and worked hard to accomplish has been in this community,” Angel said. “This is where I plan to be and this is where I’m raising my children. They’re both in elementary school and this is not a way for me to gain accolades and jump ship. This is very much about me wanting to serve the community and wanting to serve the folks who make this community great.”
Nominee Inga Causey said a value she would prioritize should she be appointed to the judgeship is effective listening. She said over time, judges may begin to drag their feet, not approaching cases before them with the ferocity of someone passionate about helping.
“I believe that as a judge, we are here to serve the community,” Causey said. “We are here to serve others and that mandates serving with compassion, empathy, creativity and resourcefulness.”
Currently, Causey works as the prosecuting attorney for the town of Vail, a magistrate for the 13th Judicial District Court, a deputy judge for Minturn, an associate judge for De Beque and as a partner at law firm Causey & Howard.
Driving Causey’s pursuit of the county court bench is her understanding that what the judiciaries do is meaningful to the community.
“I knew that what we do matters and that our work is meant to serve others,” Causey said. “I wanted to carry that with me and I will keep that perspective on the bench.”
With over 20 years working in Eagle County, Causey said she is closely tethered to those within the community, which would assist her ability to serve them, should she be appointed to the judgeship.
“When you understand the heartbeat of a community, you’re better able to serve that community,” Causey said.
Courtney Holm said her Eagle River Valley upbringing sets her apart from the other nominees.
“I am a Vail pioneer originally from Eagle County and am literally the hometown candidate,” Holm said.
After her parents came to Vail in 1969, Holm’s father, Dr. Bill Holm (recently deceased), served the community as one of the first doctors in the Eagle River Valley, Holm said. With her mother also involved in the community as a longtime volunteer for local organizations, Holm grew up in a family “focused on serving others.”
After attending the University of Denver Law School, Holm said it was natural that she gravitated toward public service for her career as well. Currently, Holm runs a law firm, Courtney Holm & Associates, and has been working locally for over two decades as an attorney representing visitors and locals alike. Over the past 12 years, Holm said she has worked as a mediator, helping parties reach resolutions outside the courts. She served as the chair of the Berry Creek Metropolitan District for two years, is a former president of the Colorado Bar Association, and is the founder of the Mountain Chapter of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association. She has also been the chair of the 5th Judicial District Judicial Performance Commission for the past two years, creating blue book narratives on judges’ retention evaluations.
Additionally, Holm produced and co-wrote a Colorado Bar Association Podcast called “Our Voices,” which highlights diverse stories of people within the legal landscape.
“I am lucky that my work allows me to interact with so many people from different backgrounds in our community,” Holm said.
Should she be appointed, Holm said she would be able to continue her passion for supporting those in the community in an even more involved capacity.
“I have pride and investment in this community, I want to make a difference as a county court judge for the people and the place that I love,” Holm said.