Richard Sternberg

Metropolitan Washington Law Consortium, PLLC
  • Real Estate Law, International Law, Probate...
  • DC, Maryland, Virginia
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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
4th Circuit
D.C. Circuit
Federal Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
  • 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"
Georgetown University
J.D. (1983) | Law
Honors: cum laude
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
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.
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
District of Columbia Bar
- Current
Maryland State Bar
Chairman, International Law Committee
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
461 Questions Answered

Q. Friend on unsupervised probation, received a reckless on 80mph. Jail time or no?
A: She needs to consult the lawyer who handled the probation case or, at least, another lawyer familiar with the judges in that circuit and her whole record. Any other opinions are useless, and even a local opinion is, at best, an educated guess.
Q. Water heater broke and leaked water all over basement and we're being asking to replace it
A: The answer depends on the terms of the lease, who had the insurance interest, and whether anyone was negligent, and the result is fact dependent. While it needs to be reviewed before an opinion can be reached. One thing is certain. Doing nothing until the mold overtakes the house will turn a $700 problem into a much bigger problem. Both the renter and the landlord should report the incident to their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance companies.
Q. I want to put the deed to my mortgaged home in my sons name,what is the first step/
A: If you transfer the deed to your son, you may need to do a deed of gift, and your mortgage company needs to clear that. It is very likely to violate the "due on sale" clause. You may be able to get the lender to agree to moving the home into a living trust that lists your son as a beneficiary. Alternatively, you can refinance. Or, you can do a will. There are many stories on TV and in novels as well as in lecturers making the circuit decrying the difficulties of probating wills. Most of that information was outdated when I entered practice in the 1980's. Probate is much easier than it used to be. The lecturers keep pushing living trusts because they make money selling them or selling the real estate. Maryland remains harder than DC or Virginia on probate, but it is much better for consumers than it was when those movies were made.
Q. My intended owns property in Virginia with her son.
A: The petition is called a Sale in Lieu of Partition. In Virginia, there is a Code provision that reimburses the legal fees out of the proceeds if the sale. Don’t let the son’s default destroy his mother’s credit. If they are tenants in common, the petition is routine, but a bit much for a DIY project, and, once he talks to a lawyer, the son should consent rather than run up legal fees on a hopeless defense. If Mom feels bad for the kid, give him enough more than his share for a down payment in his own name.
Q. I signed a lease March 1 and paid rent and security deposit and was given keys and go ahead to move into the apt.
A: A lease can be enforced against anyone who has signed it. Sometimes, a separate document "signed" by the party against whom enforcement is sought can act as a signature on the unsigned lease, such as an email conveying the lease saying something like, "This is the lease I'm offering you." That could become a factual issue, which, if not handled correctly, could mean expensive litigation. If you already have a lease, the revised lease needs to be supported by consideration. All in all, if there is enough money involved, you should review this with a lawyer. If it isn't worth it to you, you might tell the landlord to return your deposit, because you aren't signing and re-signing leases. In Virginia, the words in that lease -- which, contrary to popular opinion, are not "standard" -- will generally be enforced unless they violate local landlord & tenant ordinances even if the term sounds stupid.
Q. Upon death of disabled person who outranks who the guardian or the executor/per. Rep?
A: The guardianship or any power of attorney ceases to exist when the ward or principal dies. There is no outranking, because the sole remaining duty of the guardian is to account to the PR or the court.
Q. In Maryland, it appears that witnesses to a will must appear to verify a will in probate. However, must they be found?
A: Proper attestation creates a presumption of authenticity, so it will usually be adequate in an uncontested probate. Beyond that, retaining a lawyer, whose fees are subject to review by the court and who is paid from the assets of the estate, is a good idea.
Q. This lawyer also doesn’t do any of the work like second lawyer said he works for a law firm that has lots of offices
A: If you have doubts about the handling of the estate, you need to consult with an experienced lawyer. An Internet website cannot review the bills, investigate the services, and evaluate the costs and benefits of challenging the fees or the distribution of assets. If you are asking whether you can get such a review, of course, you can as long as you have an interest in the estate. If the review reveals irregularities, you might be able to raise the issues pro se to the commissioner of accounts to save litigation expenses.
Q. I own a timeshare with my mother, who is now deceased. How can I get her name off the deed?
A: You can make the change once appointed Personal Representative of her estate. You may need to open a subsidiary probate in Florida to do the closing if it is a fee simple interest rather than a cooperative.
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Contact & Map
Maryland Main Office
6509 Persimmon Tree Road, Suite 100
Potomac, MD 20818
Toll-Free: (888) 541-4020
Telephone: (202) 530-0100
Fax: (888) 363-7299
Fairfax Office
10605 Judicial Dr, B7
Fairfax, VA 22030
Toll-Free: (888) 541-4020
Telephone: (202) 530-0100
Fax: (888) 363-7299