Judge Bonnie Chessher Oliver is a native Atlantan 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 included Hall County and Dawson County.
Judge Oliver is the immediate past Administrative Judge of the 9th Judicial District of Georgia and served as a member of the Judicial Council of Georgia. She currently is on the Council of Superior Court Judges (CSCJ), Bench and Bar Committee, Legislation Committee; and Mandatory Continuing Judicial Education Committee.
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 Judicial 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 the American Bar Foundation. She is a member of the Lawyers Club of Atlanta, the Gainesville-Northeastern Bar Association and member and past president of the E. Wycliffe Orr Inn of Court. Judge Oliver is current President of the Board of Trustees of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Judge Oliver served as a member of the Investigative Panel of the State Bar for four years, investigating lawyers for ethical violations. Judge Oliver was a former member and Vice Chair of the Georgia Judicial Qualification Commission from 2003-2007.
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 Past President of Gainesville Rotary Club (receiving Club of the Year and the 6910 District Leadership Award), and Past President of Gainesville Middle School PTA. Additionally, Judge Oliver formerly served as adviser to the Gainesville Regional Association of 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 marred to Andy Miller and has three grown children: Jackson, Sean, and Grace and two beautiful granddaughters.