Published: May 19, 2010 4:10 PM EDT

MIAMI (AP) - An attorney is asking a federal judicial panel to quickly consolidate more than 100 lawsuits filed against BP and other companies responsible for the massive Gulf oil spill.

Louisiana lawyer Daniel Becnel says legal chaos could break out in five Gulf Coast states if the lawsuits aren't combined. Becnel has asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in Washington to quickly reconsider whether to order the cases consolidated.

The panel has indicated it will not decide until July. Many lawsuits are potential class actions that could include tens of thousands of plaintiffs. They've been filed by fishermen, seafood businesses, hotels, restaurants, resorts and other interests claiming economic losses from the oil spill.