Judge Bonnie Chessher Oliver is a 1974 graduate of Buford High School and attended Shorter College in Rome, Georgia on an academic scholarship. She graduated cum laude in 1978 with a bachelor's degree in history. Judge Oliver obtained her legal education at the Walter F. George School of Law, Mercer University, Macon, Georgia, where she received a Juris Doctor in 1981 and was admitted to the bar the same year.
Before entering private practice, Judge Oliver was general counsel for a private non-profit organization. She provided legal services to senior citizens in a 13-county area of North Georgia for four years. Over the next 13 years, Judge Oliver had a general trial practice in Gainesville, Georgia with an emphasis on personal injury litigation. In June 1998, after having practiced law for 17 years, Governor Zell Miller appointed her as Judge of the State Court of Hall County. On September 27, 1999, Governor Roy Barnes appointed her Judge of the Superior Courts of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, which includes Hall County and Dawson County.
In 2000, 2004, and 2008 Judge Oliver was elected to 4-year terms. She currently serves on the Council of Superior Court Judge's Bench and Bar and Legislative committees and is the past Chairperson of the Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education Committee. Judge Oliver is the current Vice Chair of the Judicial Qualifications Commission where she has served as a member since 2003.
Judge Oliver is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia and served as an elected Board of Governors representative for the Northeastern Circuit from 1994 to 2002. She is a former Chairman of the Client Security Trust Fund. She is a former Chairman of the General Practice and Trial Section of the State Bar and is currently on the Executive Board. She is a Fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, and a member of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta and of the Gainesville-Northeastern Bar Association. Judge Oliver is a former Trustee of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Judge Oliver served as a member of the Investigative Panel of the State Bar for 4 years, investigating lawyers for ethical violations. Judge Oliver was active in the Younger Lawyers Section of the State Bar for many years serving on the Executive Council from 1982 - 1989, and serving as Director in 1989, and was a candidate for President in 1990.
Judge Oliver has been active in the Gainesville/Hall County Community. She is a former President of The Boys and Girls Club of Hall County, and a member and former Associate Director of the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, graduate of Leadership Hall County, a member and current Director of the Gainesville Rotary Club, and Past President of Gainesville Middle School PTA. Additionally, Judge Oliver formerly served as adviser to the Gainesville Regional Association for Nursing Home Improvement, a founding member and officer of Lakeside Civitan Club, a Board Member of Teen Pregnancy Alliance, and was formerly Chairman of the 1990 Leukemia Society Fundraiser.
Judge Oliver is married to Andy Miller and has 3 children: Jackson, Sean, and Grace. They reside in Gainesville.