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
74 Questions Answered

Q. How many days late is standard to send a pay or quit letter?
A: You may file a complaint whenever the lease says the rent is due after periods to cure specified in the lease have been exhausted. I've never read a lease in which the tenant can delay rent payments merely by informing the landlord that the rent would be late. The best policy, generally, is enforcing your lease promptly as written so that tenants do not form an expectation that the payment of rent is voluntary.
Q. If a property already states under contract. Are we still able to put a bid on it?
A: First of all, whatever "the property states" or the realtor states in the listing isn't directly relevant. What matters is whether the property is actually under contract and whether that contract is subject to unfulfilled contingencies. Once there is a contract for sale of the property signed by the owner(s) and the buyer(s), you have two major strategies if you want that property enough: 1) deal with the Seller by, for example, asking to write a backup offer and hoping the initial contract fails a contingency; or, 2) deal with the buyer by offering to buy as a flip before closing. If you *really* want the property, there are strategies for encouraging the result you want, but you really want a good lawyer advising you, since overzealous pursuit could get you sued for the tort of interference with business advantage also called tortious interference with contract.
Q. Hello!
A: Develop a description of your product that does not reveal any of the protected information. Once you get a company interested, pay a lawyer for a Non-Disclosure Agreement, commonly called an NDA. Get it signed before you reveal anything identifiable.
Q. A house is being advertised as for sale and for rent with the exact same price. Is it possible to buy with the price ask
A: Great question. The answer is "no." As a matter of established law, an advertisement is a solicitation of offers rather than an offer. As such, it cannot be accepted and therefore need not be accurate. You've surely noticed that many advertisements stretch the truth or flat out lie. Subject to the limitations of truth in advertising and consumer protection statutes, such lies -- as well as typographical and other mistakes -- are not binding.
Q. Is VA Seller liable to Buyer if their past debt delays closing date? Can Seller list home after signing closing docs?
A: Whether Seller is liable and the extent of the potential liability depends on the terms of the contract and the circumstances. They are not all the same. A seller can usually list after a contract until closing as long as the property is listed as subject to contract or, if applicable, No Knockout. What you can't do is violate the signed contract or mislead other potential buyers.
Q. Short Sale in May 2010, including a Line of Credit. Short Sale written off. 1/5th of LOC. After 7 yrs, do I owe the LOC?
A: I'm not sure I understand you, but I think you are asking if an agreement to pay a debt expires after seven years regardless of its terms. While there is a model of that in the Bible called the Jubilee, historians tell us it may not have happened that way even in 1000 BCE. Today, we have 30 and even 40 year mortgages, and they do not expire after seven years. You might, however, be able to discharge the debt in bankruptcy or buy a discount on a one-time payoff.
Q. Do I have rights to retrieve my belongings from my grandmother's house after she passed away?
A: You need a lawyer. Can you afford one? What is the net value of the items belonging to you? If you send an email, I'll try to understand your situation and set up a consult if the case is in the DC suburbs.
Q. I inherited my parents house and land upon their death in 2013 and 2014. I am trying to obtain a mortgage to do some
A: Obviously, if you can't close, there is a problem in the title. You need a title search and a probate attorney with experience in real estate and a license in Virginia. A CRESPA license to go with a Bar license would make the solution cheaper and easier. I'd guess it is an easy solution in Virginia, because property passes to the heirs at death subject to the PR's petition to the court to sell. But, there often needs to be a proper probate to establish the heir or devisee. This is all quite fixable, but tax records and the tax role as to who is paying the taxes has no bearing on who owns the property. That is a common -- and utterly baseless -- predominantly Southern myth. If you let the same lawyer close the transaction on the loan when they fix the probate, they might be able to roll the fee into the loan. Good luck!
Q. I have a lawyer, but he practices in another country - what issues are there if he represents me over here?
A: He must be eligible to be admitted pro hoc vice before he can appear in a court in the US. You will need to check the relevant State's admission requirements for pro hoc vice, but NY is particularly liberal on international admissions for foreign lawyers.
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