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
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
501 Questions Answered

Q. is it illegal for a real estate company to list a property on the MLS and then not allow prospective buyers to see it?
A: Not per se, but there are many additional facts that would make that improper. You should seek out a consult with an attorney if the opportunity is sufficiently valuable to you.
Q. I think seller knowingly sold me a property that may have foundation or leaking basement problems
A: You need to retain counsel for a review of the contract and the inspection(s). If there is evidence of a misrepresentation in the disclosures about the property or a latent defect known to the owner and concealed from the buyer, you may have a cause of action including punitive damages and attorneys fees.
Q. Can a primary borrower divest all interest in a property when they are not on the deed?
A: I think I already answered this question, but you really need someone to run a title search and clarify who is on what. From your question, I assume you are correct in believing that you are on the note but not on title. If you are asking whether you can divest of title, the answer is that is not necessary. You are not on title. If you are asking whether you can ignore the note you signed because you are not on title, I need to know more facts, but, as a general proposition, of course not. That's a bit silly. If you have some actual reason for asking this question, you need to let a competent lawyer interview you.
Q. If one of the heirs is refusing to sign or even get proper documentation to show who he is. And to prove he is a
A: File a motion asking the court to determine if he is an heir and a motion asking the court to approve your decision to sell the house.
Q. In a co signed mortgage, can the lead borrower legally divest all interest in the property?Lead isn't on deed.
A: Yes, but only by paying off the mortgage or getting the lender’s consent to a novation. I’m a little confused by your question, but you seem to be asking if you can co-sign a loan note and then be relieved of liability without paying off the note because you aren’t on the deed. Isn’t that covered by the playground rule called “no backsies?” More seriously, you can get the owner to re-if.
Q. Can I sell my decease father house if I am the administrator without having my siblings sign the paperwork as well.
A: In Virginia, the title to the house passes outside of probate subject to recapture by the Administrator if the sale is needed to pay debts, including distributions. Your safest bet is to put on a motion and get the court to approve a sale. You can then sign for it. An attorney would make this much easier and can be paid out of the sale,
Q. My ex and I broke up. I want him to leave. I just realized our landlord never signed our lease. Is our lease valid?
A: The lease can be enforced against anyone who signed it, and it might be enforceable if the intent to have a signed, written lease is apparent on the facts, such as emails, endorsing deposited rent checks, etc.
Q. Is there a difference between water quality inspection and a well inspection?
A: When in doubt, include it twice, such as "water quality inspection including but not limited to well inspection".
Q. My father passed away and his rental property is under water, what can I do?
A: You should sit down with a probate attorney for a consult. If your father's only asset was the rental property that is underwater on its mortgage loan, and if the estate has no other assets that you'd like to protect, you might simply abandon the rental and let the lender foreclose. It isn't going to hurt your father's credit. But, the real facts may change your strategies, and a paid hour long consult may be more than valuable if it leads you to a means to get the property out of TOPA and rent control.
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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