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
350 Questions Answered

Q. My mom left a will and 4 daughter two of the daughter are died. Section 64.1-1 and 64.1-3. Code of Va. In will for estat
A: I’m sorry. Your question is very hard to understand. Assuming your mother passed and left a binding, legal Will, the instructions in the Will will be followed in probate as to her children and son in law. You should retain an attorney to help probate the Will, because you do not have the skills to explain the situation to the clerk. If your mother hasn’t died and she wishes to exclude someone from her Will, she should see a lawyer to effectuate that. Fixing it before she dies is MUCH cheaper than after she dies.
Q. My grandmother is living in a home owned by her now deceased parents. She is last surviving child. Is home legally her
A: The answer depends on a number of factors including, at least: 1) How the house was titled to her parents; 2) where each parent resided at time of death; 3) When each parent died; 4) Where the House is located; 5) Who anywhere in the chain of title had a Will; 6) What each such Will said; 7) if there are no Wills in the chain of title, the names & dates of birth and death of any legal intestate heirs; 8) Whether spousal rights apply at any stage; 9) Whether there were any children of the half-blood, adopted children, or other special circumstances in the chain of title; 10) Whether there may be any relevant easements or adverse possession claims; 11) Whether there are any delinquent tax or mortgage loan issues. I’m sure I can think of more issues during an interview, but I think this will suffice to show that it may be more complex than that. “Heir property” is a gold mine for the enterprising lawyer. Your grandmother can and should convey by Will or Deed anything she owns, and it will be easier to resolve title while she is alive and has the capacity to deed, but the mess will be all the more complex if it waits for her death.
Q. What can I do when the seller won't cooperate?
A: The point of having a written contract for sale of real estate is to create enforceable rights. If you wanted a voluntary whatever-agreement, then you wouldn't have a written contract. Read it. Have a lawyer read it. Enforce it. Hint: Enforcement is often done in courts and sometimes involves damages.
Q. My sis is administrator on our late mother’s estate. SHe has to provide a report to the court about what she has done.
A: Look up and call the Commissioner of Accounts for your Circuit. Make an appointment and describe the issues accurately and succinctly.
Q. Previous home owners left heavy equipment on our property we closed on in September. Is that now our property?
A: It depends on the contract and Tennessee law regarding moveables. I would get an opinion before taking it, but it is very likely that you may notify them and then dispose of it.
Q. How do I go about hiring a lawyer about a case in France? Or maybe get some advice on what to do next
A: Many lawyers practicing International Trade law have contacts around the world and can research for qualified lawyers in foreign countries. Also, the U.S. Embassy in many countries maintains a list of local attorneys, though the reference may not constitute a referral. As far as I know, there is no covering French advocates.
Q. Can we provide a list of unsuccessful buyers on our house sale to our neighbor who will be marketing/FSBO their house?
A: Of course, you may ask your listing agent for the information on the other bidders. Do not be surprised if the realtor does not wish to share them and, instead, tries to get the names of the neighbors who wish to sell. The penultimate reason that realtors put up signs on the properties they list, after the need to help interested parties to park at the right address, is to sell their services to neighbors. Expect the realtor to ask you, instead, if he or she can help your neighbor and earn a second commission, thereby rebranding herself as a "neighborhood specialist," whatever that means. If you collected the contact information yourself, unless there is a provision in your listing contract to the contrary, you can call them and ask them if they are interested in you sharing their contact information. If they are interested, and if neither side has a realtor, the other sellers can save a fortune in commissions by using a lawyer to contract and close the deal, since they don't need marketing services.
Q. If I have agreed to a seller's counteroffer on his land, can seller now consider a new buyer's offer and put me on hold?
A: It was nothing until it is in writing. Oral agreements for land are not binding. Further, there is a regulatory layer that there are many elements, particularly disclosures, required for an offer or acceptance on residential real estate to be binding. If there was paper — or email — that might meet this, you should collect it all and see a lawyer to get this back on track before he enters a written contract with another bona fide buyer. If it was an unprofessional “handshake ‘n’ hope” deal, you need a real estate lawyer or agent to help you land your next deal efficiently. 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. A friend got hit by a car from an embassy - do they have immunity or can I sue them?
A: I’m away from my desk as I read this, so I can’t give you citations, but the U.S. required all diplomats to obtain auto insurance after some fairly nasty accidents in D.C. in the late Eighties or early 90’s. Before then, most embassies carried insurance anyway, but it is now required. Sovereign immunity still applies above the insured coverage, and there are a few tiny “gotcha” wrinkles, so this is not best pursued pro se. Get a lawyer who knows both litigation and has dealt with International. 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.
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