Local civil law attorneys handle cases between two parties. This can be a person seeking legal action against a company for a defective product, an employee seeking damages for a wrongful termination, or a plaintiff who takes a government to court for a civil rights violation. Divorce, contract, and personal injury are but a few of the types of cases handled by civil attorneys. Civil law is different than criminal law. Most people are familiar with criminal law because criminal cases are presented in the media or dramatized in movies or television. A criminal case is brought against a defendant by a government who is the prosecutor, while civil cases are between two parties be they individuals or companies. A plaintiff can also file a civil complaint against a government. Murder, rape, or robbery, are some of the charges which can be brought against a defendant in a criminal trial. It is much harder to prove to a court that a defendant is guilty of the charges which the government has brought than in a civil trial. If the defendant is found guilty in a criminal case, the defendant may be sentenced to prison or in very rare cases death. If the defendant is found guilty in a civil case, the defendant will pay the plaintiff for the damages that were caused. It might seem easy to pursue a civil case against a person or business that seems to have done something wrong. Lawyers advertise their services on television, and newspapers feature stories about large monetary settlements. However, finding an attorney who will pursue a particular case and who will do all the work necessary to prepare the case for trial can be difficult and expensive. Most cases cost many thousands of dollars before they even get to court. Even if the case is taken on a contingency basis, the defendant in the case may not have enough money to cover the damages of the plaintiff.