Ernest J. Istook, Jr., has been practicing law since 1977, interrupted somewhat by his 14 years as U.S. Congressman for Oklahoma’s 5th District, part of 25 years he served in federal, state and local office. He is licensed to practice law in Utah, Oklahoma, the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts.
Ernest moved to Utah in 2015 and began teaching political science at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University, then joining Howard, Lewis & Petersen in 2019.
His law degree is from Oklahoma City University and his B.A. in journalism from Baylor University.
Ernest’s legal work has centered around litigation to remedy the wrongs which people encounter. This includes personal injury, medical malpractice, defective products, wrongful taking of property, business disagreements, real estate disputes, will contests, financial frauds, and untangling other challenging situations.
In Congress, Ernest successfully negotiated bipartisan consensus on billions of dollars of projects, as a subcommittee chairman on the House Appropriations Committee.
A highly-effective advocate and communicator, Ernest is a former columnist for The Washington Times. His writings have also been published in the Deseret News, Salt Lake Tribune, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and multiple other print and online outlets. Ernest is a former talk radio host, plus the Bott Radio Network aired 1,976 of his daily radio commentaries on over 100 stations.
Married since 1973, he and wife Judy have five children and fifteen grandchildren. Ernest has served three times as a Scoutmaster and was honored by the Boy Scouts of America with its Silver Beaver Award for his efforts. He also has been active in service and leadership roles of church work.
Ernest is a Distinguished Fellow at the Frontiers of Freedom Foundation; formerly he was a Distinguished Fellow at The Heritage Foundation and a Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.
He is of Hungarian descent; Ernest’s father’s parents were born in Hungary and immigrated to the United States.