I'm not sure what your question is. An attorney has an obligation to maintain your file for several years. An attorney also has the obligation to make your file available to you upon reasonable request. So if you want your file, you can get it. I'm not sure if that answers your question.
This response is based on limited information. It is not meant as and does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Yes the lawyer can keep a copy of your documents. She is required to provide you with a copy of your file, but she may keep a file for her own purposes. If you already have a copy of all of the documents, then there would be nothing new for her to provide to you at that point.
Lawyers have an obligation of confidentiality. It does not matter whether the lawyer turns out to be a friend with someone, she is required to keep your secrets.
I am licensed in Pennsylvania. Members of my firm are licensed in various states, including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. We handle cases involving personal injury (car accidents slip and falls, etc.,) medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, workers' compensation, social security disability and legal malpractice. Nothing I write on Avvo is legal advice, but instead contains general educational information. Please do not act or refrain from acting based upon what you read in anything I write on Avvo without retaining your own lawyer in your state. Also please remember that this post does not form an attorney/client relationship between you and me. If you have specific legal questions, you should contact an attorney in your state for assistance.
No, an attorney cannot keep your files. They belong to you. The lawyer is, however, entitled to keep a copy of your file for his/her records.