His special area of expertise had been Intellectual Property. His clients ranged from Apple to Oracle. Here is the coverage on Abovethelaw by lawyer-journalist, Kathryn Rubino.
As yet, the motive is unknown. The speculation runs from a plain-vanilla robbery to bad blood among people who knew each other.
Those of us who understand the high stakes in business, especially technology, might add the motive of halting his investigation of a dark corner of a firm's business. He might have had a hunch. The miscreants might have feared what could be turned up.
Although murder might shock, it's been an efficient tool since the beginning of the human race for getting what the bad guys want. Cain murdered Able. So common it has been that it is banned in the Ten Commandments.
This blog extends deep sympathy to James' loved ones.