Gov. Brian Kemp on today (Tuesday) announced the appointment of William “Bill” Ray Oliver to judge of the Mountain Judicial Circuit Superior Court effective Jan. 1, 2023.
Oliver will fill the vacancy created with the passage of Senate Bill 395 that added a third judge in the circuit that covers Habersham, Rabun and Stephens counties.
Oliver, a Habersham County native, began practice in 1981 with Oliver & Oliver. The firm was formed in Habersham County by his grandfather, Grover C. Oliver Sr., in the 1930s and later his uncle Robert F. Oliver joined the firm in the mid-1950s.
Oliver began his sole practice in 1987 and was joined by Ernest H. “Bucky” Woods III in 1988, becoming Oliver & Woods.
After Woods was elected to the Superior Court bench in 1992, Oliver continued his practice in Cornelia until forming a partnership with Jim Weidner, Oliver & Weidner LLC, on Jan. 1, 2006.
Over the course of his career, Oliver has successfully argued cases before the Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals.He is a former magistrate in Habersham County, former president of the Mountain Judicial Bar Association, and a member of the Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Georgia Trial Lawyers Association.
Oliver also is certified to be lead counsel in death penalty cases in the Mountain Judicial Circuit. In 2011 he was appointed by then-Gov. Sonny Perdue as Solicitor-General of Habersham County.
Oliver attended Gainesville College and the University of Georgia. He obtained his juris doctorate from the Western Carolina University School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 1981.
He is active in his community, having coached youth recreational sports and attending RiverPoint Community Church. He is the father of two daughters and grandfather of four granddaughters.