(CN) – Six media companies are entitled to attorney fees after winning the right to conduct exit polling near ballot boxes in Nevada, the 9th Circuit ruled.
ABC, CNN, CBS, Fox News, NBC and the Associated Press won an injunction from a Nevada law that prohibited them from conducting exit polls within 100 feet from the entrance to a polling place.
The district court denied attorney fees to the networks with a single sentence declaring that “special circumstances” prevented the networks from collecting the fees.
In a per-curiam decision from the federal appeals court in San Francisco, the judges ruled that the district court needs to be more specific.
“The district court does not identify the special circumstances that render the award unjust,” the judges wrote. “Attorneys’ fees should only be denied in unusual cases, such as when there is both a strong likelihood of success on the merits and a strong likelihood of a substantial judgment at the outset of litigation.”