The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said Friday that a San Diego federal judge had no disqualifying interest when she certified a class of five tuna suppliers and said the defense’s delay in bringing the issue “raises the appearance of gamesmanship.”

The decision from the en banc panel rejects a decertification motion from Latham Watkins defense lawyers who said U.S. District Judge Janis Sammartino’s investments in the plaintiff companies meant she should have recused herself under 28 U.S.C. § 455, which calls for judges to recuse themselves from proceedings in which their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

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