The BP Civil Trial just started and some of you had questions about how that would affect the BP Oil Spill Class Action Settlement for businesses. David Greene says the Civil Trial and the BP Claims Settlement for individuals and businesses are actually two very different legal matters. What's going on now in New Orleans is the states themselves, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, requesting damages to cover their costs from the BP Oil Spill. The BP Class Action Settlement of last year, on the other hand, is for businesses and individuals who were affected by the Oil Spill. Any business owner in Alabama who meets certain requirements under the terms of the settlement is elegible for money damages from the BP Oil Spills Claim. David Greene says a lot of people think that only businesses along the coast can benefit from the settlement, but any business in the state may be eligible if it opened before or shortly after the oil spill. David Greene says the requirements have to do with showing a downturn in revenue in the months after the BP Oil Spill and then showing a recovery in 2011. He adds that the terms are very plaintiff friendly, and you have a variety of ways to show you had economic loss. Your business does not have to show your business was directly affected by the oil spill. To be eligible for the settlement, you have to show a downturn in business then a recovery, you can show that you were dependent on a larger business that was hurt by the oil spill, or that you lost a contract because of the oil spill. If you are a local business owner, you're probably wondering what steps you need to take in order to be a part of this settlement. David Greene says you should first consult with a lawyer who can guide you through the complexities and pitfalls of this this process. He says the lawyers at Greene & Phillips help clients gather the correct financial statements, and then take care of all the legal footwork. He says you should submit your claim as soon as possible. All claims must be in by early 2014.