Judge Oliver has more than 48 years of legal experience in the San Joaquin Valley. A transactional, business and estate planning lawyer for 22 years, he was a Board Certified Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialist prior to appointment to the bench, where he served for nearly 20 years. Immediately prior to his retirement from the Superior Court in January of 2015, he sat by assignment on the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District.
Judge Oliver is Senior Counsel at Baker Manock and Jensen, limiting his practice to mediation and alternative dispute resolution with emphasis on probate, trust and estate matters; corporate , family and partnership disputes; real property issues , employer/ employee matters and commercial disputes.
During his judicial career, Judge Oliver served in the trial department for 11 years, presiding over more than 200 jury trials. As Supervising Judge of the Probate Division, he was directly involved in more than 200 case settlements. He also served as presiding judge of the five-court Juvenile Department and as a member of the appellate panel of the Superior Court. He chaired the Court’s jury oversight committee and was a member of statewide committees dealing with jury and judicial outreach issues. He served as an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Fresno County Superior Court for more than nine years. He served as a member of the Executive Board of the California Judges Association; was elected in 2008 as a Vice President and served as Vice President of the California Judges Association Foundation.
Judge Oliver has been a law school adjunct faculty member, teaching secured real property transactions and corporate law. He has taught business organization law for the paralegal program at San Joaquin College of Law and business law at the Craig School of Business, California State University, Fresno. Throughout his career, he has been a frequent speaker and panelist on a variety of subjects including: communications skills; conflict resolution in the probate case; ethical issues for the business lawyer; the realities of succession planning; practical charitable giving ideas; and ethical considerations for the estate planning professional.
Service to the Community and the Legal Profession
Judge Oliver’s dedication to the community and legal profession is demonstrated by the following examples of organizations in which he has served as president or chair. Saint Agnes Medical Center Foundation: Rotary Club of Fresno; Fresno City and County Historical Society; Fresno Estate Planning Council; Fresno County Interagency Council for Children and Families; California State University, Fresno Foundation; National Conference of Bar Foundations; the Foundation of the State Bar of California; Fresno County Bar Association; Fresno County Young Lawyers. Oliver was also elected a member and a vice president of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California; and was appointed to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission (JNE).
- Harvard Law School – Harvard Negotiation Institute, Program on Negotiation (2016)
- Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Family Mediation (2015)
- Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Advanced Mediation (2014)
- Pepperdine University School of Law, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Mediating the Litigated Case (2013)
- U.S. Air Force Air War College (seminar program graduate, 1984)
- American College, Bryn Mawr, PA (Chartered Life Underwriter designation, 1974)
- Golden Gate University School of Law (J.D., 1973)
- California State University, Fresno (B.S., Business Administration, 1966)
- State Bar of California (1973)
- United States District Court (Eastern District of California)
- United States Tax Court
- Hon. Blaine Pettit Mentor Award, Fresno County Young Lawyers, 2014
- Champion of Justice Award, Central California Legal Services Inc., 2014
- Bernard E. Witkin Lifetime Achievement Award, Fresno County Bar Association, 2014
- Judicial Office of the Year – Leadership Award, California Bench-Bar Coalition, 2011
- California State University, Fresno, Distinguished Alumnus “TOP DOG”, 2010
- California State University, Fresno, Foundation Service Award, 2010
- Central California Legal Services Award, 2002
- Leon S. Peters Award for Exemplary Service to the Community and His Profession, 2002
- Outstanding Alumnus, Golden Gate University School of Law, 1999
- Outstanding Alumnus of the California State University, Fresno, Craig School of Business, 1997