Toyja E. Kelley


Toyja E. Kelley

Mr. Kelley represents large public corporations and medium-sized businesses in complex commercial disputes. He is a member of the firm's Management Committee and chair of its Diversity Committee.  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.

Mr. Kelley concentrates in general commercial litigation, construction litigation, professional and product liability, business torts, and insurance coverage.  He has achieved 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.

Representative Matters

Mr. Kelley's trial experience includes:

  • defending a sports equipment company in a personal injury case involving several athletes at a football camp in Maryland.
  • defending a national office products manufacturer in breach-of-contract cases brought by a multinational customer and a material supplier; the claims were resolved favorably.
  • defending 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.
  • defending 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 defending a building owner in a $12.7 million construction dispute with its former general contractor and a bonding company.   Mr. Kelley 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.
  • defending a publicly traded broadcasting company in commercial litigation and business tort-related cases.
  • defending a publicly traded real estate investment trust from a series of construction related lawsuits brought by contractors and subcontractors in Maryland.  Mr. Kelley’s representation led to the dismissal of most cases; others have been favorably resolved.
  • representing a national home improvement franchising company in a breach-of-contract dispute brought by customers of a local franchise that has gone out of business.
  • representing a petroleum manufacturer in a product liability case alleging injuries from lead pigment.
  • representing a large financial services company in numerous cases involving its Maryland real estate portfolio.
  • representing 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, Mr. Kelley 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 Mr. Kelley 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)


In addition to his roles as chair of the firm's Diversity Committee and a member of its Management Committee, Mr. Kelley serves the legal profession in a variety of capacities.  He 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 Mr. Kelley 2nd vice president.  Immediately prior to that, he was elected to the executive committee of DRI's national board of directors as its secretary-treasurer.  Mr. Kelley has been a member of DRI for over a decade and has served on the DRI Board of Directors since 2011.  He 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 2010, The Daily Record named Mr. Kelley as one of Maryland's 40 Very Important Professionals.  This annual award recognizes professionals based on professional accomplishments, community service, and a commitment to inspiring change.  In 2015, The Daily Record also named Mr. Kelley to its Influential Marylanders list for his contributions to the field of law as well as his leadership in the community.

Maryland Super Lawyers Magazine has recognized Mr. Kelley for his business litigation practice since 2009.

In 2008, Mr. Kelley 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.

Community Service

Mr. Kelley has worked to combat inner-city poverty by encouraging entrepreneurship among young people.  He has also been involved in several professional mentoring programs for minority college and law students.

After graduating from William and Mary Law School, Mr. Kelley served as judicial law clerk to The Honorable Andrew Sonner of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.  Prior to joining Tydings & Rosenberg, he served as a litigation associate at a small Baltimore law firm.



Attorney Profile


  • William & Mary Law School (J.D., 2001)
  • Franklin & Marshall College (B.A., 1998)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • State of Maryland

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. Superior Court, District of Columbia
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  • DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar
  • Maryland Defense Counsel
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • American Bar Association
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Baltimore City
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • National Bar Association, Commercial Law Section
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  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University, 2013-
  • DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar, 2nd vice president, 2015-; Secretary-Treasurer, 2014-2015; Executive Committee, 2014-; Center for Law and Public Policy's Issues and Advocacy Committee, Vice Chair, 2013-2014; National Board of Directors, 2011-2014; Diversity Committee Chair, 2009-2011; Diversity Committee Vice Chair, 2007-2009; Member of the Diversity For Success Seminar and Corporate Expo and Steering Subcommittee, 2005-2013; Speaker-Construction Law Seminar and Annual Meeting, 2012; and Diversity Seminar, 2006 and 2011
  • Maryland Defense Counsel, President, 2013-2014; Board of Directors, 2005-2014; and Executive Committee, 2010-2014
  • American Bar Association, Speaker-Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar, 2006-2007, 2010-2011, 2013; Co-chair of Diversity Subcommittee of Insurance Coverage Committee, Section of Litigation, 2008-2010
  • Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland
  • Franklin & Marshall College Alumni Association, Board of Directors and Chair, Member & Affinity Group, 2010-present
  • Just The Beginning Foundation, member of the 2008 Conference Executive Planning Committee, member of the Development Committee for Maryland
  • Sylvan Beach Foundation/Taharka Bros. Ice Cream, Advisory Board
  • Speaker, University of Maryland Law School Diversity Conference, 2008
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