Francis X. Flaherty was appointed to the Rhode Island Supreme Court by Governor Donald L. Carcieri and was sworn in during May of 2003.
Justice Flaherty was born in Providence, Rhode Island and was educated in public and parochial schools in Providence and Warwick. He graduated from Providence College in 1968 and then served with the United States Army infantry. After his discharge from the Army, Justice Flaherty enrolled at Suffolk University Law School, graduating cum laude in 1975.
Immediately upon graduation and admission to the Rhode Island and federal bars, Justice Flaherty began a private law practice in Warwick, Rhode Island. He also served in local government as an assistant city solicitor and was elected to the Warwick City Council in 1978, serving until 1985. In 1984, Justice Flaherty was elected the Mayor of the City of Warwick and served three terms until January 1991. He was candidate for Governor of the State of Rhode Island in 1990 and 1992.
After leaving public office, Justice Flaherty returned to the private practice of law in Providence and in Warwick. He was engaged in the general practice of law with a concentration in civil litigation, legal malpractice defense, public utilities law, and labor law.
Justice Flaherty has been a member of the Rhode Island and the American Bar Associations, the Rhode Island State Supreme Court Ethics Advisory Panel, and has served as an arbitrator on both the American Arbitration Association Commercial and Labor Panels and for the Rhode Island Superior Court. He was president of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns in 1989 and 1990 and chairman of the Rhode Island Interlocal Risk Management Trust in 1987 and 1988.
Justice Flaherty has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Special Olympics, Bishop Hendricken High School, McAuley House, Kent County Memorial Hospital, the Rhode Island Academic Decathlon, and New England Institute of Technology.