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Richard Sternberg

Metropolitan Washington Law Consortium, PLLC
  • Real Estate Law, International Law, Probate...
  • District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

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
  • 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
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4th Circuit
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D.C. Circuit
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Federal Circuit
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U.S. Supreme Court
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  • English: Spoken, Written
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Managing Principal/CEO
Metropolitan Washington Law Consortium, PLLC
- Current
Managing principal/CEO
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.
Center for International Legal Studies
Honorary Fellow (2002) | International Business Law
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"
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Georgetown University
J.D. (1983) | Law
Honors: cum laude
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University of Pennsylvania
M.A. (1977) | American Political Science
Honors: magna cum laude
Activities: Pi Sigma Alpha, University Television, concurrent B.A.-M.A. in four years.
University of Pennsylvania Logo
University of Pennsylvania
B.A. (1977) | Political Science
Honors: magna cum laude, honors in major.
Activities: Pi Sigma Alpha, University Television, Combined B.A.-M.A. in 4 years magna cum laude.
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10.0 Superb
Hon. Fellow
Center for International Legal Studies, Austria
Best Lawyers in Virginia
Virginia Business Magazine
AV Rating
Professional Associations
Virginia State Bar
- Current
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District of Columbia Bar
- Current
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Maryland State Bar
Chairman, International Law Committee
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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,
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
Mr. Sternberg's Web Site
Legal Answers
605 Questions Answered

Q. Can You File For Eminent Domain Regarding Government Property
A: You have the concept reversed. Eminent domain is the right of the sovereign to take private land after paying reasonable compensation. It is limited to legitimate public purposes. You can’t exercise eminent domain unless you are a government.
Q. How could I back out of a house purchasing contract due to the impending housing market downturn due to COVID19?
A: Retain counsel to review the contract to determine your rights and your risks. They are not all the same. Often, you can simply abandon your deposit, but sometimes, they can sue you for the difference between what you agreed and whatever they sell it for plus all of their added expenses. How do you know the real estate market will crash after Covid-19 is over?
Q. My dad died without a will owning land with his siblings, his only sibling alive is selling it now who gets my dads part
A: The answer depends on the title to the property and the family tree. Seek a consult with a lawyer in the jurisdiction where your father resided when he passed. Bring a copy of the deed and a knowledge of the family tree. It should take less than an hour, but any answer without reviewing the deed and the family tree is useless.
Q. Can I postpone my house sale closing on April 17.
A: Talk to your realtor or the closing attorney or title agent, and negotiate a resolution. Even though the Governor in Pennsylvania backed off a stay-at-home order, the buyer is going to have similar problems.
Q. Dear Esq: my daughter had to leave her off campus apartment after COVID19 cancelled everything. She and
A: This is quite an unusual circumstance, with the last pandemic being at the beginning of the last century. Even then, I don't believe there were mandatory stay-in-place orders and institutional shutdowns, in part because society couldn't have survived these kinds of orders before the Internet. Further, I don't think we've ever closed the courts and barred evictions and foreclosures in Virginia. Maybe that happened during the fall of Richmond when the courts were no longer run by the Confederate States. On the other hand, the Virginia Supreme Court tends to be significantly more strict in literal contract interpretation than her neighboring states, and, further, you might keep in mind that the landlord isn't released from his mortgage by the pandemic. To give a better contractual analysis, I agree with my colleagues that you need to start with reading the lease. Plainly, neither side anticipated Covid-19 or these strange governmental orders. But, how the words of your lease inadvertently anticipated the crisis matters, at least in a formal setting. Nevertheless, the landlord needs to pay his mortgage, and he cannot sue to evict right now. I'll bet that the intervention of independent legal counsel would yield a reasonable settlement.
Q. Does Section 11.114 of the Maryland Condo Act exempt my Condo Association from covering the repair cost to my floors?
A: Have you filed a claim with your homeowners insurance? For $18,000, which you can easily pay counsel to try a case on whose responsibility is primary, you ought to let the two insurance carriers battle it out. They will usually do that in an abbreviated arbitration proceeding to which you won't be invited, but you will be walking on repaired or replaced floors. Only if the insurance companies both stick you should you pay a lawyer to review your condo documents as against the statute.
Q. Can I hold a buyers agent liable for fraud in Maryland real estate transaction?
A: Perhaps there is some other irregularity that would be revealed by a legal review of the transaction, but I agree entirely with my learned colleague, Mr. Valkenet. If the law provides a basis for voiding a contract, it doesn't matter why it is used. The correct method to minimize the impact is to deliver the HOA package prior to accepting an offer. That avoids the nearly inevitable buyer's remorse. Further, your signature on the revised contract would seem to be a complete novation and release. Finally, to add to Mr. Valkenet's response, you are not in privity with the buyer's broker. The buyer's agent has very limited duties to you. The duty is to his client.
Q. My mother died with no will and her only asset is car worth less than 20,000. What can I do?
A: Contact MVA. Call Center- 410-768-7000. Email- I believe Maryland law allows an expedited change of car title at the MVA by producing the death certificate and whatever else they need to show you are next of kin. It's not something lawyers tend to get involved in resolving.
Q. In a Maryland contract, buyer's gift is rescinded by giver prior to closing. Does buyer lose earnest money deposit?
A: It is worth your money to have a lawyer review the contracts focusing specifically on the financing contingency, but if the loan was approved subject to the gift, and if the financing contingency was released, then you will breach when you fail to close. Your relationship with your father is not the seller's problem. In some contracts, the damages are limited to the deposit. That is not always the case.
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Contact & Map
Maryland Main Office
6509 Persimmon Tree Road, Suite 100
Potomac, MD 20818
Telephone: (202) 530-0100
Fax: (888) 363-7299
Fairfax Office
10605 Judicial Dr, B7
Fairfax, VA 22030
Telephone: (202) 530-0100
Fax: (888) 363-7299