Toyja Kelley

Toyja E. Kelley

Partner
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Toyja Kelley represents large public and medium-sized businesses in complex commercial disputes. He concentrates his practice in general commercial litigation, construction litigation, professional and product liability, business torts and insurance coverage, regularly appearing before state and federal courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Toyja Kelley represents large public and medium-sized businesses in complex commercial disputes. He concentrates his practice in general commercial litigation, construction litigation, professional and product liability, business torts and insurance coverage, regularly appearing before state and federal courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

In addition to his trial experience, Toyja has long served as outside general counsel to a Maryland-based construction company and outside general litigation counsel to a special event photo booth manufacturer.

Toyja is an active member of the Defense Research Institute (DRI) and is the Immediate Past President of the nearly 22,000-member international organization. In 2020, he became the inaugural President of DRI’s National Center for Law and Public Policy, a research and advocacy organization dedicated to influencing public policy. He is also a Past President of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Defense Counsel and serves as an adjunct professor of law in its litigation and conflict resolution skills program at Washington and Lee University.

Steadfast in his commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal industry, Toyja is on the Executive Board of the National Black Lawyers Association and the Board of National Alliance on Mental Illness Metropolitan Baltimore. He has been active with Just The Beginning Foundation (JTBF), having served as a past member of the JTBF Conference Executive Planning Committee on behalf of the State of Maryland.

Toyja’s representative experience includes:

  • Defending a Baltimore area private high school in litigation over claims stemming from the construction of its artificial turf football stadium
  • Defended a building owner in a $12.7 million construction dispute with its former general contractor and a bonding company. Toyja secured summary judgment in the client's favor on the claims made by the contractor and bonding company and a jury returned a $1.6 million verdict in the client's favor on its counterclaims
  • Represented a contractor in litigating various claims and disputes arising out of the construction of the Gaylord National Harbor, the largest hotel and convention center complex on the Eastern seaboard with a total project cost in excess of $800 million
  • Defended a publicly traded real estate investment trust from a series of construction-related lawsuits brought by contractors and subcontractors in Maryland. Toyja’s representation led to the dismissal of most cases; others have been resolved
  • Defended a Baltimore, Maryland-based sports clothing and accessories manufacturer in a two-week jury trial involving the construction of its $4.1 million Station House Visitor Center
  • Represented an EB5 foreign investment regional center in connection with a $9.5 million arbitration involving a failed real estate investment and construction partnership deal
  • Defended a sports equipment company in a personal injury case involving several athletes at a football camp in Maryland
  • Defended a national office products manufacturer in breach-of-contract cases brought by a multinational customer and a material supplier
  • Defended a commercial food service manufacturer against allegations that a product defect caused a fire that destroyed a national fast food chain's restaurant
  • Defended a manufacturer of custom-built industrial generator systems from allegations that it violated the Maryland Equipment Dealer Contract when it terminated a local sales representative
  • Defended a publicly traded broadcasting company in commercial litigation and business tort-related cases
  • Represented a national home improvement franchising company in a breach-of-contract dispute brought by customers of a local franchise that had gone out of business
  • Represented a petroleum manufacturer in a product liability case alleging injuries from lead pigment
  • Represented a large financial services company in numerous cases involving its Maryland real estate portfolio
Reported Decisions
  • Schuele v. Case Handyman and Remodeling Servs., LLC, 412 Md. 555 (2010)
  • AT&T Communications of Md., Inc. v. Comptroller of Md., 176 Md. App. 22 (2007)
  • Chang v. Brethren Mutual Ins. Co., 168 Md. App 534 (2006)
  • Smith v. Lead Industries Ass'n, 386 Md. 12 (2005)
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CREDENTIALS
Education
  • J.D., William & Mary School of Law, 2001
  • B.A., Franklin & Marshall College, 1998
Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
Professional Affiliations
    • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar
      • President (2018-2019)
      • President-Elect (2017)
      • 1st Vice President (2016-2017)
      • Secretary-Treasurer (2014-2015)
      • Executive Committee (2014)
      • National Board of Directors (2011-2014)
      • Diversity Committee Chair (2009-2011)
    • President, DRI Center for Law and Public Policy (2020-Present)
    • Maryland Defense Counsel
      • President (2013-2014)
      • Board of Directors (2005-2014)
    • Adjunct Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University (2013-Present)
    • Executive Committee Member, National Black Lawyers Association
Awards & Recognitions
    • Recipient, Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award, DRI (2021)
    • Recipient, Leadership in Law Award, The Daily Record (2021)
    • Named, Maryland Super Lawyers®, Litigation (2016-2018)
    • Recipient, Influential Marylanders Award, The Daily Record (2015)
    • Recipient, VIP-Professionals Under 40, The Daily Record (2010)
Community Leadership
    • Board Member, ‎National Alliance on Mental Illness ‎Metropolitan Baltimore‎
Professional History
    • Judicial Law Clerk, The Hon. Andrew Sonner of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals