legal ethics. 1. The minimum standards of appropriate conduct within the legal profession, involving the duties that its members owe one another, their clients, and the courts. — Also termed etiquette of the profession. 2. The study or observance of those duties. 3. The written regulations governing those duties. See MODEL RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT. [Cases: Attorney and Client  32(2). C.J.S. Attorney and Client § 44.]

“In one sense, the term ‘legal ethics’ refers narrowly to the system of professional regulations governing the conduct of lawyers. In a broader sense, however, legal ethics is simply a special case of ethics in general, as ethics is understood in the central traditions of philosophy and religion. From this broader perspective, legal ethics cuts more deeply than legal regulation: it concerns the fundamentals of our moral lives as lawyers.” Deborah L. Rhode & David Luban, Legal Ethics 3 (1992).

[Blacks Law 8th]