The relationship is not as simple as it might logically seem. violation of the ethics code is not, in itself sufficient to prove malpractice, and may not even lead to forfeiture of fees. Details.
“The New York Lawyer’s Code of Professional Responsibility has an interesting, and at times rather peculiar, relationship with rules and procedures governing civil litigation. For example, even if a lawyer is found to have violated the code in some respect, such a violation does not always result in an adverse consequence in civil litigation.
Indeed, New York courts have held that evidence obtained in violation of a provision of the code is still admissible at trial; attorneys are not always deemed to have forfeited their fees when they have violated the code; and legal malpractice cannot be established solely by proof of a violation of the code.”