Toyja E. Kelley

Toyja Kelley represents large public and medium-sized businesses in complex commercial disputes. His successful track record is grounded in the belief that every case must be litigated with an eye toward the client’s overall business situation.  His representation is thus informed by deep familiarity with the companies he represents.

Toyja concentrates his practice in general commercial litigation, construction litigation, professional and product liability, business torts, and insurance coverage.  He has achieved positive results for businesses in the manufacturing, retail, real estate, and automotive industries, among others.  He has extensive trial experience in the state and federal courts in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Toyja’s select representations include:

  • Defended a Baltimore, Maryland based sports clothing and accessories manufacturer in a two week jury trial involving 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 partnership and real estate investment 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; the claims were resolved favorably.
  • Defended a commercial food service manufacturer against allegations that a product defect caused a fire that destroyed a national fast food chain’s restaurant.  The case was favorably resolved.
  • Defended a manufacturer of custom built industrial generator systems from allegations that it violated Maryland Equipment Dealer Contract when it terminated a local sales representative; the case was favorably resolved.
  • Successfully 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.
  • Defended a publicly traded broadcasting company in commercial litigation and business tort-related cases.
  • 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 favorably resolved.
  • 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.
  • Represented the owner of a shopping center in an insurance coverage action brought against a property insurance company after snowfall caused damage to the center’s roof.  The client won on appeal, and insurance funds were paid.

In addition to his trial experience, Toyja is outside general counsel to a Maryland-based residential construction and restoration company and outside general litigation counsel to a special event photo booth manufacturer.

Among the reported cases in which Toyja has represented clients are:

  • Smith v. Lead Industries Ass’n, 386 Md. 12 (2005)
  • Chang v. Brethren Mutual Ins. Co., 168 Md. App 534 (2006)
  • AT&T Communications of Md., Inc. v. Comptroller of Md., 176 Md. App. 22 (2007)
  • Schuele v. Case Handyman and Remodeling Servs., LLC, 412 Md. 555 (2010)

Toyja is an adjunct professor of law at Washington and Lee University.  He also has been an active member of the DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar for several years.  In 2015, the organization elected Toyja 2nd vice president. In 2018, he will be installed as President of the nearly 22,000 member international organization. Toyja has been a member of DRI for over a decade and has served on the DRI Board of Directors since 2011.  He also served as vice chair to DRI's Center for Law and Public Policy's Issues and Advocacy Committee.  Prior to that, he served for two years as chair of DRI's Diversity Committee.  He is also a past president of the board of directors of the Maryland Defense Counsel, Inc.

In 2008, Toyja played a lead role in organizing the JTBF Conference for the Just The Beginning Foundation (JTBF), a national non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting greater diversity in the field of law.  He was a member of the Executive Planning Committee on behalf of the State of Maryland, and in this capacity helped organize its eighth biennial conference, which took place in Washington.

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