Richard Sternberg

Metropolitan Washington Law Consortium, PLLC
  • Real Estate Law, International Law, Probate...
  • District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia
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Summary

The Law Offices of Richard S. Sternberg is dedicated to the principle that bigger is not always better. Instead, it rests on a tradition that actually antedates the rise of the “mega-firm”-the solo practice. Emulating a country lawyer in a big-city environment allows Mr. Sternberg to provide more individualized service to his clients, and, at the same time, pursue more collegial relations with other members of the Bar. Since 1984, Mr. Sternberg has dedicated his practice to representing individuals and smaller businesses. For those corporate clients who have larger needs, he is affiliated with the Metropolitan Washington Law Consortium, PLLC. The larger affiliation allows you to benefit from a close relationship with your lawyer, but it allows easy connection to specific expertise and more economic approaches to handling easier day-to-day matters requiring competence with a lighter hand on the billing rates. If your matter requires multiple areas of practice and a limited practice, such as tax or immigration law, Mr. Sternberg can get you to the lawyers he knows to be the best through MWLC.

Practice Areas
  • Real Estate Law
  • International Law
  • Probate
  • Business Law
  • Estate Planning
Fees
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Contingent Fees
    Contingency fees available in accident cases and, even, some international, real estate, and probate matters.
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Even in business matters, ask about the 50/50 program for discounted legal fee rates as low as $150/hour.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
District of Columbia
District of Columbia Bar
Maryland
Virginia
4th Circuit
D.C. Circuit
Federal Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Managing Principal/CEO
Metropolitan Washington Law Consortium, PLLC
- Current
Managing principal/CEO
Lawyer
Law Offices of Richard S. Sternberg
- Current
I've practiced as a solo from the beginning and will until the end. Sometimes, there have been some very talented lawyers around me, as well.
Member, rising to CEO
The Washington Law Group, P.C.
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Education
Center for International Legal Studies
Honorary Fellow (2002) | International Business Law
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Republished in Kitzbuehel, Luxembourg, NY, and Baltimore
Honors: Honorary Fellow
Activities: Delivered paper: "Securing Investments from Foreign Sovereigns— Protecting Foreign Assets Using U.S. Law"
Georgetown University
J.D. (1983) | Law
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Honors: cum laude
University of Pennsylvania
M.A. (1977) | American Political Science
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Honors: magna cum laude
Activities: Pi Sigma Alpha, University Television, concurrent B.A.-M.A. in four years.
University of Pennsylvania
B.A. (1977) | Political Science
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Honors: magna cum laude, honors in major.
Activities: Pi Sigma Alpha, University Television, Combined B.A.-M.A. in 4 years magna cum laude.
Awards
10.0 Superb
Avvo.com
Hon. Fellow
Center for International Legal Studies, Austria
Best Lawyers in Virginia
Virginia Business Magazine
AV Rating
Martindale-Hubbell
Professional Associations
Virginia State Bar
Member
- Current
District of Columbia Bar
Member
- Current
Maryland State Bar
Chairman, International Law Committee
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Publications
Articles & Publications
“Securing Investments from Foreign Sovereigns—Protecting Foreign Assets Using U.S. Law.”
Republished in Kitzbuehel, Luxembourg, NY, and Baltimore
“The Jewish Roots of English Property Law.”
The Conveyancer & Property Lawyer, Issue 1 (2016)
Collections 101 for Campaign Professionals
Campaigns and Elections, February, 2007
“Third World Government Contracting.” November-December, 2005.
l.i.n.k, issue 30,
"Trade"
International Business Law Bulletin, March-April, 2003
“Negotiating Commercial Leases.”
Business Properties, 1990
Speaking Engagements
International Commercial Transactions, Continuing Legal Education (MICPEL), Columbia, Maryland
Maryland State Bar Association
Reviewed international commercial transaction issues with a panel of other international law practitioners.
Websites & Blogs
Website
Mr. Sternberg's Web Site
Legal Answers
528 Questions Answered

Q. I was the PR for my father's estate and I closed out the account about 5 years ago when I thought I had accounted for
A: I know of no way to do it other than reopening the estate. It isn't hard, but it means filing a new accounting, and that certainly isn't worth the effort using a lawyer.
Q. I became administrator appointed by the courts after my aunt left my mother out of everything.
A: I think I answered this one before. You have a duty assumed in your appointment as Administrator to marshal the assets, and that means using the power of the court to determine what is going on. Whether you do that by discovery in a chancery case or show cause orders or other motions depends upon all of the facts. Many times, one letter from a well-rated lawyer and the difficult parties decide to cooperate. But, nobody should give you advice on self the facts, which is why the next paragraph appears in this response. Reading an answer on the Internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are represented by me when we have both signed a retainer agreement (on paper or electronically) and some money has changed hands. Usually, you will have been asked specific questions about your situation and all potential conflicts of interest will have been resolved. Until then, you have no more right to rely on this answer than if you read it in a novel.
Q. Need advice as administrator to will
A: Your options as I see them without an interview are: 1) Accept that your aunt is stealing from the estate. As Administrator of the estate who failed to protect the estate, you are likely to be personally liable for her thefts. 2) Resign and report the thefts to the Court. Let is be someone else's problem, and only be liable for what you should have done before resigning. 3) Get a lawyer who will be paid from the assets of the estate, and file the proper motion in court to obtain control and do your job to garner the assets for accounting and distribution. 4) Do nothing, and hope that the problem goes away all by itself. If I was your lawyer, I would recommend #3. Reading an answer on the Internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are represented by me when we have both signed a retainer agreement (on paper or electronically) and some money has changed hands. Usually, you will have been asked specific questions about your situation and all potential conflicts of interest will have been resolved. Until then, you have no more right to rely on this answer than if you read it in a novel.
Q. Difference between offer to purchase real property and purchase agreement in Virginia
A: You need a lawyer to review the actual exchanges. If an offer was accepted, it is a contract from that moment on, and it follows its terms until completed or breached.
Q. How long does a seller have to remove personal items from the property after the sale is completed?
A: What's required is a contract review. In most sale of real estate contracts, there is a provision that items on the property except for a list in the contract convey to the buyer. If not, the common law of bailment probably applies, and the buyer became a gratuitous bailee of the goods. He may not harm them, but his duty to care for them is limited. In any event, there is no excuse to trespass, and zero, no, nil excuse for destroying property, to wit, the lock, after trespassing on the property. A counterclaim for trespass might be suitable. But, it starts with a review by a lawyer and a review of the facts and the contract, as well as a review of the law on those facts. There are differences between the treatment of a bailee for hire and a gratuitous bailee, and the contract for sale may determine that. That review may not be worth the time or fees if we're talking about a rake and a rusty, old, bow saw. You might want to mediate it.
Q. Can someone sell a brick and mortar home but not the land it is built on?
A: This is actually fairly common in parts of the United States. Baltimore has a long-standing tradition of selling houses that sit on land held by long-term lease. But, such situations can be quite complex. They can also be the basis for a fraud or a non-fraudulent misunderstanding that means you pay the money and they keep the house. Further, the Virginia Supreme Court is quite literal in its taste for the language of leases and contracts, sometimes even when the contract makes no sense if read literally. You need a lawyer to review the deal, and that lawyer should probably be in addition to the lawyer you use to close the deal, because the title agent closing the deal has a duty of honesty but not a duty to explain the nature of the property you bought.
Q. In a Life Estate Will can siblings NOT design. to live in the house, move in w/o approval of those who were designated?
A: I don’t understand your question. If you are the life tenant, you have a right to occupy until your (or the life designee’s) death subject to claims of waste by the remainder-men. If someone else is the life tenant, you have nothing but a claim for waste until the life tenant (or the life designee’s) death. If you are one of the current common co-tenants, your co-tenants must agree on revisions or you can resolve the differences by sale or partition and splitting the proceeds. If you don’t understand the terms, but a consult with a Virginia lawyer before you back yourself into a property tort case. Such cases are quite expensive.
Q. Can a homeowner still sell the home that is in foreclosure and pay off the loan to the bank before the bank sells ?
A: You need to get it sold before the foreclosure sale, and a lawyer can often get the bank to wait for a sale. If the mortgage is greater than the sale price, it is called a short sale, and that is also possible. You need to move on it responsibly now, but you do not need bank consent unless they foreclose first.
Q. I have 2 text messages from my deceased spouse saying I can have the house, Can I submit this to the court.
A: You should sit down with a lawyer to review the estate and your rights. While a text is not a Will, and it will not be binding, you have certain rights as the spouse.
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USA
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Fax: (888) 363-7299
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USA
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Fax: (888) 363-7299