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Richard S Sternberg
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Richard Sternberg’s Answers

115 total


  • Is this deed issue best handled by a real estate or estate attorney under these circumstances, is it complicated to resolve?

    My father passed away leaving the DC home he lived in by himself. This home was thought to be owned by him & his living sister but, upon researching the deed, I learned that isn't the case. The existing deed shows their deceased parents, my grandp...

    Richard’s Answer

    My fellow counsel is correct as to the possibility that this will be a cheap, easy fix, but the bottom is that you need a lawyer to review the family tree and possibly file the estate. It'll be all the better if that lawyer is a licensed title agent, because it is possible that the transaction can be titled an insured easily. We offer both services and would be happy to help. There is no reasonable likelihood that you can fix this yourself, and I make lots of money each year from people who thought they could. Keep it a simpler problem by getting counsel on it now.

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  • How hard will it be to have a family member declared as deceased and how do I retain a lawyer in DC when I live in PA?

    I need to have my uncle declared as deceased so that I, his heir, can claim a substantial amount of money held in an state abandoned account. He left no will. He was not mentally or physically well and chose to live homeless in DC. He has been ...

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I think you'll need counsel, and it sounds like an interesting case. I don't imagine there are too many lawyers willing to take probate matters on a contingent fee (a percentage of the proceeds), but I might consider it. I'd start by getting cooperation from Vital Records if he was homeless in DC.

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  • Hello from the Nations Capital! Can a condo assn. change course & force everyone in the building to pay for new windows?

    For the past 10 years, the unspoken rule has been that owners are responsible for windows, so in prob. 25-30 units, the owners have paid their own money to replace their windows. Well, now enough people have finally complained that the assn. star...

    Richard’s Answer

    Nobody can competently answer this question without a careful review of the condo bylaws. Perhaps you should form a dissident group of homeowners who have recently redone their windows and opposed the change. Then, it would be easier to afford representation. Perhaps, with skillful representation and a bit of local politics, you can float an alternative proposal for the condo to replace all windows not replaced recently and offer an assessment to provide a loan pool for owners who haven't renovated the window. That assessment would be smaller and ultimately be repaid.

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  • Accidentally paid 10 months of water bills for old rental property via autopayment - old landlord refuses reimbursement

    Do we have any legal standing for getting our money back? The utility will not reimburse, obviously. The bank account used for bill payment belongs to an old housemate, and no one else had access to the account. I said I'd close the account last s...

    Richard’s Answer

    I'm not sure I understand the facts. If you are telling me that you paid a bill from your money for a prior tenant with whom you were not sharing finances or the tenancy, then you can probably sue the landlord in small claims to get your money back. If you are saying that the funds were duly owed by your former co-tenant and paid from the joint account you'd set up for that purpose and negligently failed to close thereby causing the due bill to be paid from the same account it was previously paid, that might be quite different. Indeed, I think it might make the judge laugh just before you lose. You need to explain this a bit better to get a competent answer.

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  • How do you respond to resident’s false claim of your responsibility to water damages to their condo determined not to be yours?

    Water from my condo unit bath tub leaked into the condo unit below mine causing damage to the ceiling. I accepted the responsibility for that water damage. I had a contractor inspect that condo unit for an estimate of the cost of damages. But t...

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I agree with Mr. Krieger in part, but it cannot hurt to preserve evidence now. The statute of limitations on the prior claim is three years, but there is an argument that limitations would be extended if the leak was from a continuing problem or was somehow concealed until the present leak. Copies of the reports, names of the prior inspectors, photos from the time, names of lay witnesses who know that the prior damage was from a different cause and/or can identify what damage came from what could be a good precaution starting now. It's not a bad idea to have an attorney-advisor guiding you in preserving the evidence and, perhaps, preparing a settlement or seeing to be there and ready to discourage an overly ambitious claim. That may discourage the neighbor. BTW, this all needs to be reported to your homeowners or condo insurance now. If you have coverage, they will probably take the lead on this.

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  • If a lawyer is trying to dismiss a case how long does it take to oppose it in a civil law suit in DC?

    Every case that I have brought forth this attorney is trying to dismiss or make an appearance. She's not honest at all since I have met her in 2012. In every one of my cases he has lied or either brought some kind of false evidence whether it was ...

    Richard’s Answer

    I'm not sure that I understand your situation, but if you presently have an attorney, none of us should be second-guessing your counsel or even communicating with you. Ask your lawyer about the status and prospects for your case. And, if you are losing faith in your lawyer, interview another lawyer to act as a replacement or further attorney-advisor. If you don't trust your lawyer, you need a new lawyer.

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  • Serving a subpoena pro-se In forma pauperis ? DC federal district court 14-CV-00295 ask get answers??

    Who viewed your profile 1,844 Profile views 217 Viewers found you from Homepage 17 Viewers from Greater Boston Area 598 Viewers from the Law Practice industry Industries of your viewers 24 Information Technology and Services Management Consult...

    Richard’s Answer

    Sorry, like the gentleman from Michigan, I've got no idea what this means, but there are special requirements for service of a subpoena in the District of Columbia, and messing that up will delay your subpoena. If you can try restating your situation more clearly, one of us can try to help, but you need counsel, at least as a paid attorney-advisor to act as a resource while you pursue justice.

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  • How do I get out of this situation so I can on with what's left of my life. Now even my licenses are threatened.

    I assisted a very dear friend in a kind deed: she arranged for the purpose a loan to me of $100K, used to pay off a mortgage on behalf one of her client, who was incarcerated. I was shown documents confirming that the client had authorized the sal...

    Richard’s Answer

    I've read this 3 times. I have no idea what happened or how to help you, but if a court has already found that you aren't credible and some license you have is threatened, you *really* need to speak to a lawyer.

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  • IF BOTH TENANTS BY THE ENTIRETY HAVE PASSED IS THE PROPERTY PASSED DOWN TO THE HEIRS WITH OUT A WILL

    I AM A HEIR OF A PROPERTY THAT PARENTS HAVE PASSED. NO WILL WAS LEFT IS IT POSSIBLE FOR THE GOV TO PUT CONSERVATORS OVER THE PROPERTY TO SELL THE HOME FROM THE HEIRS

    Richard’s Answer

    This is a tough one from your description, and, if that is the best description you can write, you really need a local probate lawyer to straighten this out. Let me make some assumptions based on my best reading of your message. Let's assume that the property was in the District and was held by Deed by your mother and father as tenants by the entireties. That is to say that it was purchased or transferred into the entireties when each of the five unities of entireties title were present and that was the intention of the parties. Let's further assume that you, and, perhaps, others, are the only children of your mother and your father and there were no step-parents involved. There is no Will and the second parent to die passed after 1981. In that setting, the property passed by entireties to the survivor of the two spouses. Upon the death of the surviving spouse, title springs to the personal representative (PR) once an estate is filed. That PR, upon receiving Letters of Administration (provided the estate is a large estate over $40,000) can sell the property to pay bills and distribute the proceeds to the heirs. If the second parent was your parent and that parent had not remarried, you have priority to become the PR. The Court will not appoint a conservator to do this for you, because conservators are appointed for living people who need help of the court. You can ask the court to appoint a PR from the Bar, but, if your siblings agree or if your credit is adequate to support a bond, you can take that role yourself and be compensated for it as well as control the sale. If you let someone else do it, they will control the sale. With the services of a competent, local lawyer, there is little for you to do.

    We do this sort of probate work all the time.

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  • I need a lawyer

    My mother died from c diff about 7 months ago she was locked up in West Virginia she had an colonoscopy done a few months after her release she passed away I have been calling lawyers but no one has called me back yet

    Richard’s Answer

    I'm afraid I don't understand your posting, and that maybe be why nobody is answering. If this is about criminal law or personal injury from her care, you are asking in the wrong section and you need to describe the situation a bit better. If whatever happened occurred in West Virginia, you need to look for a lawyer there. If you need a probate lawyer, start by posting in the place where your mother was domiciled at the time she died. Of course, if she was just released from prison before her death, she might not have had enough assets to cover the fees of a probate attorney.

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