Richard Sternberg

Metropolitan Washington Law Consortium, PLLC
  • Real Estate Law, International Law, Probate...
  • DC, 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
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 / International Business Law (2002)
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. / Law (1983)
Honors: cum laude
University of Pennsylvania
M.A. / American Political Science (1977)
Honors: magna cum laude
Activities: Pi Sigma Alpha, University Television, concurrent B.A.-M.A. in four years.
University of Pennsylvania
B.A. / Political Science (1977)
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
91 Questions Answered

Q. Can a Property Management Company change the terms of a rental lease agreement 4 months after it is signed?
A: Follow the contract. It is binding.
Q. Came to an offer agreement in writing, but seller delayed signing contract. Then he took another offer. Legal?
A: Real estate contracts must be in writing, and it isn’t a contract until it is written and signed by both parties. Sometimes, a writing can be as little as a check, and a signature can be inferred from behavior that indicates an intention to sign. If the Seller backed out before he signed, however, it isn’t a contract.
Q. Can my brother keep me off our jointly owned property legally?
A: I’d need to examine title and interview you particularly on the issue of domestic violence, but generally the answer is “no.” Indeed, even if you don’t live there, you may be responsible for your share of the maintenance costs and taxes, so you probably shouldn’t ignore this, even if he had grounds to keep you away. Maybe it is time to petition the court for sale in lieu of partition?
Q. Hello, My landlord increased the rent by over 30% after a late payment. Is it legal to change the monthly rent?
A: The landlord must follow the lease. He may not change it for his convenience, and he may not eject without court process. Depending on your county, he must file a late rent suit between 3 and 5 times before you will be unable to redeem by paying the provided late rent. Perhaps you should see a lawyer, but that may cost more money than you wish to pay.
Q. How do I get assistance with upstairs neighbor that is dropping heavy items, slamming doors and walking back and forth?
A: 1. Walk upstairs, introduce yourself, and then politely discuss the problem assuming they don’t know they are disturbing you; 2. Get a lawyer to review all your condo docs to find all possible violations, and lay out a game plan to get rid of him: 3. Get a sound meter and determine whether the sound violates DC law.
Q. Is it ok for listing agent to change the finished area sqft after buyer submitted purchase offer and not telling buyer?
A: Sounds like a decent claim for consumer fraud including punitive damages and attorney fees. But, you need to deal with it before you go to closing.
Q. is the contract content agast the real estate laws?
A: Don't sign the contract? I suppose you could have a lawyer review it, but, generally, a contract for sale of real estate, particularly between commercial parties, as in an auction, is binding.
Q. Hello, may i know if it lawful for a shipping company to send/ship products to me before we agree on the price?
A: Sounds like a gift to me, but you might want to review the actual facts with a lawyer. And, if the gift is an international check or financial instrument, and they agree that you only have to return some of it as long as you do it right away, do nothing until the bank assures you the funds are collected, not just cleared. That one is a popular scam hitting lawyers for a few years now. The check is a forgery.
Q. My mother is on the deed to our house along with my husband. If my mother passes can my sister who has nothing to do
A: That depends on what you mean by "is on the deed to our house along with my husband." It may also depend on whether your mother has a Will or dies intestate. You need to read the Deed carefully and determine whether your husband and mother hold as tenants in common or joint tenants with rights of survivorship. It seems unusual, but you might ask whether you are also on the Deed and whether your and your husband's interest is held as tenants by the entireties. All of this can easily be read from the Deed, although a title search is often money well spent in situations like this. If your husband's interest is "in common," you should next look for a Will. If there is none, your sister may have a claim when your mother passes. How much that claim involves, again, depends on what title she holds. Since your mother is alive and you imply that your sister has no moral right to claim the house, why not straighten it out now. It will be significantly cheaper than fixing it after she passes. By the way, this has nothing to do with Family Law. It is Real Estate Law and Wills & Estate Planning Law.
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Contact & Map
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Potomac, MD 20818
Toll-Free: (888) 541-4020
Telephone: (202) 530-0100
Fax: (888) 363-7299
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Toll-Free: (888) 541-4020
Telephone: (202) 530-0100
Fax: (888) 363-7299