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Before Missouri was admitted as the 24th state in 1821, it was part of the much larger Missouri Territory. This was the name given to the Louisiana Purchase to avoid confusion following the admission of Louisiana as a state in 1812.

However, Missouri is still part of a no-less-confusing quirk of U.S. geography: Kansas City is mostly in Missouri and not, as one might expect, in Kansas. Missouri's other major metropolitan area, St. Louis, is known for its Gateway Arch, but has recently made headlines for the shooting of an unarmed teenager by a police officer in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb.

What about Missouri's legal system? Here are 10 laws you should know if you're in Missouri:

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

As the specialized language used by those in the legal profession, legalese includes a number of complicated, curious, and occasionally confounding legal terms and phrases.

Over the last six months, our series examining this specialized language, Legalese from A to Z, has made it nearly all the way through the alphabet, one letter at a time. In this final installment, we take a look at some interesting bits of legalese from each of the last three letters of the alphabet, "X," "Y," and "Z":

Tennessee's two largest cities, Nashville and Memphis, also happen to be two of the most important cities in America's musical history, launching the careers of countless American blues, country, and rock 'n' roll artists.

But Tennessee's history includes much more than just music. It was the 16th state to join the Union, and the first Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union following the Civil War.

Whether you're visiting the Volunteer State to take in its scenic beauty or moving to Nashville to make a career in the music business, what do you need to know about Tennessee's laws? Here are 10 laws you should know if you're in Tennessee:

Another year has gone by, and with it, many news laws were passed that will now (or will soon be) effective in 2015.

New recreational pot laws will go into effect this year, minimum wages will increase across the country, and even some undocumented workers will have a chance to get legal driver's licenses. Then of course, there's the portion of the Obamacare mandate that applies to employers.

Check out some of the notable new laws taking effect in 2015:

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Lawyers love to use a whole world of weird and wondrously whimsical words to describe certain facets of the law.

And as you might have guessed, a good deal of them may begin with the letter "W." Don't be caught without your wits. Learn more about these five legal terms beginning with "W":

  • Wanton. No, this isn't another way to spell the Asian dumpling. In fact, the word describes very unsavory action or indifference on the part of a person, typically resulting in serious harm or death. Often a person's actions are described as wanton when an attorney wishes to meet the legal standard for recklessness. In a criminal case, a prosecutor might use "wanton" to describe a murder defendant's acts which have a malicious or craven intent.

Connecting the Midwest with the Great Lakes, Indiana is the 16th most populated U.S. state, despite being the smallest contiguous state west of the Appalachian Mountains.

Known as the Hoosier State, Indiana's motto "The Crossroads of America" makes reference to the state's central location, which makes it a hub for several major interstate highways. But what should those passing through or looking to become a Hoosier themselves be aware of when it comes to Indiana state laws?

Here at 10 laws you should know if you're in Indiana:

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Slowly but surely, our weekly series Legalese From A to Z has been working its way through the alphabet, one letter at a time.

Legalese is the name given to the specialized language used by lawyers and judges, found within statutes and other legal documents. It's not necessarily its own language, but it can seem pretty foreign to those outside the legal world.

Each week, we pick a letter of the alphabet and take a closer look at five important, noteworthy, or particularly interesting bits of legalese. This week, we take a closer look at five legal terms beginning with the letter "V":

  • Vacation. While lawyers certainly take vacations from time to time (some more than others perhaps) the word vacation has another, specific meaning in the legal context. When a judgment has been vacated it has been set aside and made legally void, typically by a higher court. In the criminal system, a conviction may be vacated because of ineffective counsel, juror misconduct, or the breach of a plea agreement, among other reasons.

Arizona was the last of the 48 contiguous states to join the union (in 1912) and, at least in that sense, represents one of the final vestiges of the infamous "Wild West."

And even though the gunfight at the OK Corral -- located in Tombstone, Arizona -- occurred more than 130 years ago, there is still a touch of the Wild West to be found in Arizona's state laws. Whether you're heading to Arizona to watch a little Major League Baseball spring training or residing permanently in the Grand Canyon state, there are some laws you should be familiar with.

Here are 10 laws you should know if you're in Arizona:

President Obama announced Wednesday that the United States will resume "full diplomatic relations" with Cuba for the first time in more than 50 years.

This historic agreement means that Cuba will now host a U.S. embassy in Havana, and Americans might get a chance at legally purchasing those sought-after Cuban goods (read: cigars). But it might not mean that you can go to Cuba on vacation.

So can U.S. passport holders travel to Cuba now?

Legalese From A to Z - FindLaw

Undertaking: a word that is both a prime example of legalese, the unique language used by those who work in the legal field, and an apt description of our continuing series, Legalese From A to Z.

Like many legal terms, undertaking has a common meaning -- "a promise or a pledge" -- as well as a more specific legal meaning. In this case, an undertaking is a cash or written promise given as security or surety bond by a party in a property action, such as an attachment.

Each week, we undertake the selection of a letter of the alphabet and break down five legal terms or phrases starting with that particular letter. This week, we take a closer look at five legal terms beginning with the letter "U":

  • Ultrahazardous activity. An ultrahazardous activity is an activity where the risk of injury cannot be eliminated, no matter how many precautions are taken. Engaging in ultrahazardous activities, such as blasting or storing hazardous chemicals, creates what is called strict liability. Strict liability allows a person injured by one engaged in ultrahazardous activity to recover for his or her injuries without having to prove negligence.